Comprehensive Description

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18. Chenopodium strictum Roth Fig. 1 IB

Roth, Nov. pi. sp.: 180 (1821). - Described from India. Literature. Dvoíák 1989.

F intiansavikka.

Therophyte (summer-annual). Up to 1 m. Stem terete or angular, striped with green, sometimes red especially in the axils, hard, erect to ascending, branched mainly in the basal part; lowermost branches ascending from an almost horizontal base, long. Leaves with petiole about half as long as the blade; blade ovate to broadly ovate or elliptic, often with almost parallel margins in the middle part, slightly tapering towards the apex, 2-5 x 1-2.5 cm, dark olive-green to bluish green above, beneath often more bluish, sometimes bordered with red; apex obtuse; margin usually ± regularly dentate with small teeth (basalmost teeth sometimes slightly larger than the others) or sometimes entire. Bracts with narrowly trullate to narrowly elliptic blade; margin entire.

Inflorescences usually terminal and with few spike-like branches, usually ebracteate; glomerules small. Flowers bisexual or female. Tepals 5, olive-green, connate at base, weakly keeled. Stamens 5. Stigmas 2. Nut falling with the perianth; pericarp easily detached. Seed horizontal, broadly ovate in outline (ratio length/width 1.06-1.17), 1-1.2 mm; edge slightly keeled; seed-coat black, smooth or sometimes with faint radial striae. - Late summer to late autumn.


Distribution. For Norden, see the subspecies.

C and E Europe; SW and C Asia, India; N North America.

Variation. According to many chromosome counts from populations in various parts of its area, C. strictum is a tetraploid with 2n=36. It is fairly variable, even though some related taxa have been separated, e.g. C. striatiforme (17) and C. virgatum (rare casual), and the two subspecies recognized here do not cover the entire morphological variation. - The status of subsp. glaucophyllum needs to be clarified.

Similar taxa. Chenopodium strictum is similar to C. album (15), C. missouriense (16), C striatiforme (17) and C virgatum (rare casual). C strictum differs from C album and C missouriense in having leaf-blades which are more elliptic and entire or dentate with teeth more equal in size. The olive-green or bluish leaf colour of C strictum is also diagnostic. The seeds of C strictum are smaller and more ovate in outline than those of C album . C striatiforme is smaller and more delicate, and its leaves are smaller and of a different shape. The inflorescences of C strictum are usually spike-like, and the leaves are olive-green or bluish green.


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