Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Bassia scoparia

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: BassiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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, tubercled, or winged in fruit; stamens generally 5; stigmas generally 2. Fruit: +- depressed-spheric. Seed: horizontal.
Etymology: (Ferdinando Bassi, Italian botanist, 1710--1774)
eFlora Treatment Author: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Kadereit & Freitag 2011 Taxon 60:51--78
Bassia scoparia (L.) A.J. Scott
Habit: Plant generally 20--120 cm. Leaf: 8--50 mm, 1--6 mm wide, flat, glabrous or appressed- to appressed-spreading-hairy, generally 3--5-veined below middle. Inflorescence: branched spike, short- to densely long-hairy, hairs < to > flowers; flowers 1--7 per axil; hairs generally hiding flowers in immature inflorescence. Flower: calyx glabrous to thinly appressed-hairy, lobe margins generally bristly (glabrous); bisexual flowers with tubercles or wings < 2 mm in fruit.
Ecology: Disturbed places, fields, roadsides; Elevation: < 2300 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaR, SN, GV, n SnFrB, SCo, SnBr, GB, D; Distribution Outside California: to eastern United States; native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: Aug--Nov Note: Immature plants much like Bassia hyssopifolia (Pall.) Kuntze. If recognized taxonomically, a cultivated form with linear to thread-like leaves, short internodes, inflorescence hairs < flowers, rarely escaping in SnJV, SCo (expected elsewhere), assignable to Bassia scoparia subsp. culta (Voss) J.R. Nebot, A De la Torre, G. Mateo & F. Alcaraz. Other subspecies in Eurasia.
Unabridged Synonyms: Bassia scoparia var. culta Voss; Bassia scoparia subsp. culta (Voss) J.R. Nebot, A De la Torre, G. Mateo & F. Alcaraz; Kochia iranica Bornm., misappl.; Kochia scoparia subsp. culta (Voss) O. Bolòs & Vigo; Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad. subsp. scoparia; Kochia scoparia var. subvillosa Moq.; Kochia scoparia f. trichophylla (Voss) Schinz & Thell.; Kochia trichophylla Voss
Jepson eFlora Author: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Kadereit & Freitag 2011 Taxon 60:51--78
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Bassia scoparia
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Citation for this treatment: G. Frederic Hrusa & Dieter H. Wilken 2022, Bassia scoparia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 11,, accessed on April 19, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 19, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Bassia scoparia.

Geographic subdivisions for Bassia scoparia:
CaR, SN, GV, n SnFrB, SCo, SnBr, GB, D
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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 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).