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Alternanthera caracasana

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AmaranthaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: AMARANTH FAMILY
Habit: Annual to subshrub; monoecious and/or dioecious; occasionally spiny; hairs simple (branched). Leaf: blade simple, alternate or opposite, margins entire or serrate; veins pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal; 3-flowered cymes in dense spikes, heads or panicles; bracts 0 or 1--5, persistent; bractlets 0--2. Flower: bisexual or unisexual, small, green (+- white), yellow or purple; perianth parts 0 or (1)3--5, free or fused basally, scarious or hardened, persistent; stamens 1--5, opposite perianth parts, free or basally fused as a tube, generally unequal, occasionally alternate with appendages on stamen tubes (pseudostaminodes), anthers 2- or 4-chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1; ovule 1 (2--many); style (0)1--3, stigmas 1--3(5). Fruit: utricle; generally with persistent perianth or bracts. Seed: 1 [2+], small, lenticular to spheric, smooth or dotted to striate or tubercled.
Genera In Family: +- 75 genera, 900 species: cosmopolitan, especially disturbed, arid, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food, ornamental; many naturalized, ruderal or agricultural weeds. Note: Amaranthaceae including Chenopodiaceae by some. Polycnemoideae, represented in California by Nitrophila, formerly considered subfamily of Chenopodiaceae, but needs further research. Guilleminea densa (Willd.) Moq. var. aggregata Uline & W.L. Bray is a waif. Froelichia gracilis (Hook.) Moq. is an historical waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: AlternantheraView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: [Annual] perennial herb, aquatic to terrestrial. Stem: prostrate or ascending; hairs simple. Leaf: opposite, subsessile to short-petioled, blade margins entire to serrate. Inflorescence: axillary or axillary and terminal, sessile or peduncled, many-flowered cylindric spikes or spheric heads; bracts and bractlets persistent, scarious. Flower: bisexual; perianth parts 5, free, +- equal or not, scarious, persistent, white, glabrous or woolly; stamens 3--5, fused at base into short tube or cup, anthers 2-chambered; pseudostaminodes 5, alternate with stamens; ovary obovoid to +- spheric; style short, +- 0.2 mm; stigma spheric (2-lobed), ovule 1, pendent. Fruit: indehiscent; fruit wall membranous. Seed: 1, lenticular or ovoid-oblong, +- red brown, smooth, shiny.
Species In Genus: +- 170 species: generally tropical America. Etymology: (Latin: alternating pseudostaminodes and stamens) Note: Alternanthera sessilis (L.) DC. occasionally a greenhouse weed ; Alternanthera ficoidea (L.) P. Beauv. var. bettzickiana (Regel) Backer widely cultivated, California reports unconfirmed.

Alternanthera caracasana Kunth
NATURALIZED
Habit: Terrestrial. Stem: prostrate, mat-forming, 10--50 cm, woolly, +- glabrous in age. Leaf: petiole 2--10 mm; blade 5--25 mm, 3--15 mm wide, rhombic-ovate to obovate, tip rounded, short-pointed, sparsely woolly, +- glabrous in age. Inflorescence: 5--8 mm, 4--6 mm wide, ovoid, white to straw-colored; bracts 3--3.5 mm, ovate to lanceolate, keeled, midrib hairy, acuminate to awned. Flower: perianth parts unequal, spine-tipped, outer 3.5--5 mm, +- lanceolate, not keeled, 3-veined abaxially, inner 2.5 mm, +- linear, keeled, generally 1-veined; stamens 5, filaments 0.2--0.4 mm, pseudostaminodes < stamens, triangular or awl-like, entire to dentate. Fruit: +- 1.5 mm, ovoid-spheric, brown, tip +- truncate. Seed: 1--1.5 mm, ovate-spheric.
Ecology: Generally disturbed areas; Elevation: < 150 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCo; Distribution Outside California: to southeastern United States, central Mexico, also Africa; native to Central America, South America. Flowering Time: Aug--Oct
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea
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Citation for this treatment: Mihai Costea 2016. Alternanthera caracasana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=12841, accessed on December 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on December 03, 2016.


Geographic subdivisions for Alternanthera caracasana:
SCo;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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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.