Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Monolepis nuttalliana


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. Native spp. of Kochia now treated in Neokochia. Chenopodiaceae often treated now within a more broadly circumscribed Amaranthaceae (Morales-Briones et al. 2021).
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, Margriet Wetherwax.
Genus: MonolepisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, generally glabrous, generally powdery when young. Stem: prostrate to ascending, simple or branched from base, not branched distally, ultimate branches not thread-like. Leaf: generally reduced distally on stem, +- lanceolate to oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, entire or not, tip obtuse to rounded. Inflorescence: clusters generally axillary, 4--15-flowered; bracts leaf-like. Flower: bisexual or pistillate; sepals (0)1--3, +- green; stamens 0--1(2); stigmas 2, fused at base. Fruit: +- flattened; wall pitted to tubercled, free from seed or not. Seed: generally vertical, lenticular, smooth, brown to black.
Etymology: (Greek: 1 scale, from sepal number in most species) Note: Monolepis pusilla moved to Micromonolepis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce G. Baldwin, adapted from Holmgren (2003)
Reference: Holmgren 2003 FNANM 4:300--301
Monolepis nuttalliana (Schult.) Greene
Habit: Plant 5--50 cm, powdery, glabrous in age. Stem: prostrate to ascending. Leaf: 10--30(40) mm, +- lanceolate, fleshy, proximal with >= 2 teeth near base, hastate or not, distal +- entire. Inflorescence: flowers 5--15+ per cluster. Flower: sepal 1, 1 mm, oblanceolate to obovate, membranous; stamen 1. Fruit: 1.1--1.5 mm; wall minutely pitted, adherent to seed. Chromosomes: n=9.
Ecology: Generally moist, +- alkaline clay soils in disturbed areas; Elevation: < 3700 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc NW); Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, central North America, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--Sep
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce G. Baldwin, adapted from Holmgren (2003)
Reference: Holmgren 2003 FNANM 4:300--301
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Monolepis nuttallianabotanical illustration including Monolepis nuttalliana

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Citation for this treatment: Bruce G. Baldwin, adapted from Holmgren (2003) 2012, Monolepis nuttalliana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 13, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 13, 2024.

Monolepis nuttalliana
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©2006 Steve Matson
Monolepis nuttalliana
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©2005 James M. Andre
Monolepis nuttalliana
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©2006 Steve Matson
Monolepis nuttalliana
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©2012 Neal Kramer
Monolepis nuttalliana
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©2006 Steve Matson

More photos of Monolepis nuttalliana
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Monolepis nuttalliana:
CA (exc NW)
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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 occurrence).


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 Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

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).