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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Mihai Costea, family description, key to genera, revised by Thomas J. Rosatti & Elizabeth H. Zacharias

Annual to shrub; hairs simple, stellate, or glandular; plants in several genera scaly, mealy, or powdery from collapsed glands; monoecious, dioecious, with bisexual flowers, or with both bisexual and unisexual flowers. Stem: occasionally fleshy. Leaf: blade simple, generally alternate, occasionally fleshy or reduced to scales, veins pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, catkin-like, spheric head, axillary clusters of flowers, or flowers 1; bracts 0–5, herbaceous, generally persistent or strongly modified in fruit, wings, tubercles or spines present or 0. Flower: bisexual or unisexual, small, generally green; calyx parts (1)3–5, or 0 in pistillate flowers, free or fused basally (or ± throughout), leaf-like in texture, membranous, or fleshy, deciduous or not, often strongly modified in fruit; corolla 0; stamens 1–5, opposite sepals, filaments free, equal; anthers 4-chambered; ovary superior (1/2-inferior), chamber 1; ovule 1; styles, stigmas 1–4 (or stigmas sessile). Fruit: achene or utricle, generally falling with persistent calyx or bracts. Seed: 1, small, lenticular to spheric; seed coat smooth to finely dotted, warty, net-like, or prickly, margin occasionally winged.
100 genera, 1500 species: worldwide, especially deserts, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, beet, Swiss chard; Spinacia oleracea L., spinach; Chenopodium quinoa Willd., quinoa); and some worldwide, naturalized ruderal or noxious agricultural weeds. Nitrophila treated in Amaranthaceae, Sarcobatus treated in Sarcobataceae. Key to genera revised by Elizabeth H. Zacharias to incorporate Extriplex and Stutzia, 2 genera segregated from Atriplex. —Scientific Editors: Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Chenopodiaceae


G. Frederic Hrusa

Annual, generally erect, branched, glabrous to sparsely long-hairy, generally glabrous in age. Stem: branches 0–few, spreading to ascending. Leaf: generally linear. Inflorescence: spike, terminal; bracts leaf-like, reduced distally. Flower: bisexual; perianth parts 0–5, scarious; stamens 1–3(5); ovary chamber 1, stigmas 2. Fruit: 1.6–5.2 mm, elliptic to obovate. Seed: vertical, wings 0 to narrow.
± 65 species: northern temperate. (Latin, Greek: leathery seed) [Mosyakin 2003 FNANM 4:313–321]
Unabridged references: [Betancourt et al. 1984 Nature 311:653–655]

C. americanum (Nutt.) Nutt. var. americanum AMERICAN BUGSEED
Plant well branched, 3–15 cm; glabrous. Leaf: 9–25 mm, 1–2.5 mm wide. Inflorescence: 1–4 cm, narrow; bracts in fruit 3–20 mm, generally covering fruit, margin scarious. Flower: perianth parts 1, stamens generally 3. Fruit: body 2–3.5 mm, ± obovate, ± yellow-green to brown, generally red-spotted or warty, convex abaxially, flat to ± convex adaxially; wing ± opaque, 0–0.2 mm, entire or ± cut, if ± 0 generally with remnant style-base < 0.1 mm beyond summit.
Sandy soils, dunes; 900–1200 m. n Mojave Desert (Eureka Valley); North America except southeastern, northern Mexico. [Corispermum hyssopifolium L., misappl.] In California apparently rare, seldom collected. Other other variety in southwestern North America, Mexico; California material ± atypical, study needed. May [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}
Unabridged synonyms: [Corispermum hyssopifolium var. americanum Nutt.]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Corispermum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Corispermum americanum var. americanum Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.