Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Higher Taxonomy
Family: AmaranthaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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. possibly naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Habit: Perennial herb, glabrous, rhizomed. Stem: decumbent to erect, +- ribbed. Leaf: opposite, sessile to clasping, linear to ovate, fleshy. Inflorescence: axillary, flowers 1--3; bractlets 1 or 2 per flower. Flower: calyx 5(7)-parted, enclosing fruit, papery, lobes erect, overlapping, ovate, back ribbed, persistent in fruit; stamens 5, included; style slender, = ovary, stigmas 2. Fruit: indehiscent, +- 2 mm. Seed: vertical, lenticular, black or brown. Chromosomes: x=9.
Species In Genus: +- 5 species: western United States, Central America, South America. Etymology: (Greek: soda loving) Note: In Chenopodiaceae in TJM (1993).
Jepson eFlora Author: Margriet Wetherwax, Dieter H. Wilken & Noel H. Holmgren
Reference: [Müller & Borsch 2005 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 92:66--102]
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Key to Nitrophila

Previous taxon: Guilleminea densa var. aggregata
Next taxon: Nitrophila mohavensis

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Citation for this treatment: Margriet Wetherwax, Dieter H. Wilken & Noel H. Holmgren 2012, Nitrophila, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 06, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 06, 2022.