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 to subshrub, generally erect, generally short-hairy
Leaves alternate or opposite, linear to lanceolate, flat to cylindric, fleshy or not
Inflorescence: spike or clusters; bracts leaf-like; flowers 1–few per axil
Flower generally bisexual; calyx lobes 5, incurved, keeled and tubercled to winged in fruit; stamens 5; stigmas 2–3
Fruit ± compressed-spheric
Seed horizontal
Species in genus: ± 20 species: w North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Wilhelm D. Koch, German physician & botanist, 1771–1849)


K. scoparia (L.) Schrad.

Annual 30–120 cm
Stem simple to much-branched, glabrous to silky-hairy
Leaf 8–50 mm, 1–3.5 mm wide, flat, glabrous to short-soft-hairy, 3–5-veined below middle
Inflorescence: flowers generally 3–7 per axil
Flower: calyx lobes short-hairy, with tubercles or wings < 1 mm, < 1 mm wide in fruit
Ecology: Disturbed places, fields, roadsides
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, n San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: to e US, Europe; native to Asia
Flowering time: Aug–Oct
Synonyms: vars. culta Farw. & subvillosa Moq

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