Common Name: GOOSEFOOT FAMILY
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 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. Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, family description, key to genera, revised by Thomas J. Rosatti & Elizabeth H. Zacharias
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil, Thomas J. Rosatti.