Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Bassia hyssopifolia

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: BassiaView Description 

Habit: Annual, generally hairy. Stem: axis generally erect; branches ascending to erect. Leaf: linear to lanceolate, reduced distally. Inflorescence: spike; bracts leaf-like; flowers 1--few per axil. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx lobes 5, incurved, hooked-spiny in fruit; stamens generally 5; stigmas generally 2. Fruit: +- depressed-spheric. Seed: horizontal.
Species In Genus: +- 10 species: warm temperate Eurasia, Africa. Etymology: (Ferdinando Bassi, Italian botanist, 1710--1774) Note: Kochia scoparia recently treated here.
eFlora Treatment Author: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Chu & Sanderson 2008 Madroño 55:251--256; Mosyakin 2003 FNANM 4:309--310
Bassia hyssopifolia (Pall.) Kuntze
Habit: Plant generally < 1.5 m. Leaf: lower 5--60 mm, 1--3.5 mm wide, flat, generally withered in age. Inflorescence: 5--50 mm; bracts 2--5 mm, +- oblong. Flower: calyx densely tan-woolly, base leathery in fruit, spines +- 1 mm. Fruit: 1--1.5 mm diam. Seed: dark brown.
Ecology: Disturbed sites, fields, roadsides; Elevation: < 1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc NW, SNH), common s CA; Distribution Outside California: widespread North America; native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: May--Nov Note: Occasionally confused with Kochia scoparia.
Jepson eFlora Author: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Chu & Sanderson 2008 Madroño 55:251--256; Mosyakin 2003 FNANM 4:309--310
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Bassia hyssopifolia

botanical illustration including Bassia hyssopifolia


Citation for this treatment: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken 2012, Bassia hyssopifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 26, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 26, 2022.

Bassia hyssopifolia
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Bassia hyssopifolia
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© 2019 Neal Kramer
Bassia hyssopifolia
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Bassia hyssopifolia
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Bassia hyssopifolia
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Bassia hyssopifolia
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Bassia hyssopifolia in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Bassia hyssopifolia:
CA (exc NW, SNH), common s CA
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).