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 or perennial herb, glabrous, glandular, or powdery
Stem: branches 0 to generally ± spreading
Leaves generally petioled, linear to deltate, entire to lobed, reduced upward; base generally tapered
Inflorescence: spheric clusters, spikes, or panicle-like, generally dense; bracts generally 0; flowers generally sessile
Flower: calyx segments generally 5, fused or not, persistent, flat to keeled; stamens generally 5; ovary lenticular to spheric, stigmas 2–5
Seed vertical or horizontal, red-brown to black; wall very thin
Species in genus: ± 150 species: temp; some cultivated for food or grain
Etymology: (Greek: goose foot, from leaf shape of some)
Reference: [Wahl 1954 Bartonia 27:1–46; Crawford 1975 Brittonia 27:279–288]
Fr generally required for identification.


C. rubrum L.

Annual 20–58+ cm
Leaf: blade 15–90+ mm, lanceolate to widely ovate, toothed, glabrous to sparsely powdery below, ± glabrous above; base generally wedge-shaped
Inflorescence: spike, axillary, 10–30 mm
Flower: sepals generally 3, weakly enclosing fruit, back flat, glabrous to sparsely powdery
Fruit 0.5–1 mm diam; wall ± adherent to seed
Seeds vertical and horizontal
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Open, saline places, drying mudflats
Elevation: < 1100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Canada, e US, Mexico, Eurasia
Flowering time: Aug–Oct
Synonyms: C. humile Hook
Some forms may be introduced.

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