Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual to tree, sometimes monoecious or dioecious, glandular or with bead-like hairs that collapse with age, becoming scaly or powdery
Stem often fleshy
Leaves generally alternate, entire to lobed; veins generally pinnate
Inflorescence: raceme, spike, catkin-like, or spheric cluster, or flower 1; bracts 0–few
Flower: sepals 1–5, often 0 in pistillate flowers, free or fused, generally persistent in fruit; petals 0; stamens 0–5; ovary generally superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, styles 1–3
Fruit: generally utricle
Seed 1, vertical (fruit compressed side-to-side) or horizontal (fruit compressed top-to-bottom)
Genera in family: 100 genera, 1300 species: worldwide, especially deserts, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food (Beta , beets, chard; Chenopodium , quinoa)
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated in expanded Amaranthaceae


Annual, glabrous to papillate
Stem generally branched at base, prostrate to erect
Leaves ± cylindric, fleshy, abruptly pointed to bristle- or spine-tipped
Inflorescence axillary; flowers densely clustered; bractlets 0–2
Flower bisexual or pistillate; calyx lobes 5, generally enclosing fruit, tip winged in fruit; stamens 2–5; stigmas 2
Fruit: wall adherent to seed
Seed vertical or horizontal
Species in genus: 3 species: Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: salty neighbor, from habitat)


H. glomeratus (M. Bieb.) C.A. Mey.

Stems 6–25 cm, curved, leafy throughout
Leaf 4–22 mm, 1–1.5 mm wide, sessile, withered or deciduous in fruit; bristle 1–2 mm, stiff
Inflorescence: bracts 1.5–2 mm, ± glaucous; flowers many, throughout stem
Flower: calyx lobes 1–2 mm, wings 2–3.5 mm, fan-like, membranous, veiny
Fruit 1–2 mm
Ecology: Alkaline soils, open flats, scrub
Elevation: 800–1800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Cascade Range, Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Idaho, Colorado, Nevada; native to Eurasia
Flowering time: Summer
Weedy; TOXIC to livestock from concentrated oxalates.

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