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Kochia americana

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ChenopodiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: KochiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to subshrub, generally erect, glabrous to tomentose. Leaf: alternate or lower +- opposite, +- thread-like to lanceolate, flat to cylindric, fleshy or not. Inflorescence: spikes, simple or branched; bracts leaf-like; flowers 1--7 per axil. Flower: bisexual or pistillate, sessile; calyx lobes 5, incurved, keeled; tubercled, winged or not in fruit; stamens 5; stigmas 2--3. Fruit: +- compressed-spheric. Seed: horizontal.
Species In Genus: +- 15 species: western North America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Wilhelm D. Koch, German physician, botanist, 1771--1849) Note: Native species recently treated in Neokochia, Kochia scoparia in Bassia.
eFlora Treatment Author: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken

Kochia americana S. Watson
Habit: Subshrub 8--40 cm, root-sprouting. Stem: many from base, generally simple, ascending to erect, generally finely white-tomentose, occasionally glabrous in age. Leaf: 5--20 mm, 1--2 mm wide, generally overlapping, +- cylindric to flat, +- fleshy, glabrous to spreading-long-hairy; vein obscure or 1. Inflorescence: flowers 1--3 per axil; bracts 4--15 mm, 0.5--1 mm wide, generally ascending, spreading in age. Flower: calyx lobes generally white-tomentose, wings fan-shaped, in fruit < 2 mm. Fruit: < 4 mm wide.
Ecology: Alkaline soils, flats, dry lake margins; Elevation: 600--2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: GB, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Montana, Texas. Flowering Time: May--Aug
Unabridged Synonyms: Kochia americana var. vestita S. Watson; Kochia vestita (S. Watson) Rydb.; Neokochia americana (S. Watson) G.L. Chu & S.C. Sand.
eFlora Treatment Author: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken
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botanical illustration including Kochia americana


Citation for this treatment: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken 2017. Kochia americana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2017.

Kochia americana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson
Kochia americana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson
Kochia americana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson
Kochia americana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson
Kochia americana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson

More photos of Kochia americana in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Kochia americana:
GB, DMoj;
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.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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