Comprehensive Description


Annual or perennial herbs (in ours), often fleshy. Stipules 0. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, simple. Flowers minute, usually green or grey, bisexual or unisexual, actinomorphic. Perianth 2-5-lobed, persistent. Stamens as many as, or fewer than, the number of perianth segments. Ovary superior or half-inferior, 1-locular. Stigmas 2(-5). Fruit usually an indehiscent achene.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe


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1. Embryo spiral; perisperm absent; perianth often accrescent with wings or spines 67

Embryo annular or curved, rarely straight, perisperm usually abundant; perianth rarely accrescent; or if accrescent with wings or spines then ebracteolate 2

2. Flowers 1(-3) in the axils of leaf-like bracts; leaves mostly linear to filiform, terete, sometimes fleshy 65

Flowers usually in spiciform or paniculate inflorescences; rarely few to one in sessile axillary clusters; leaves mostly broad, sometimes narrow, fleshy or scale-like 3

3 Leaves not reduced to tubercles or scales; stem not or rarely articulate; perianth mostly 4-5-merous with 5-2 stamens; bracteoles present or absent; flowers not sunken into cavities in the axis 17

Free part of leaf reduced to a scale or tubercle; stems often articulate; perianth often 2-4-lobed, with mostly 1-2(-3) free stamens; flowers bracteolate, usually in groups of 3 sunken into cavities in the axis of the spiciform inflorescences 4

4 Leaves usually opposite, connate; stems articulate 6

Leaves alternate, amplexicaul; stems entire 5

5 Perianth tube 3-lobed; embryo hooked or semi-annular 45. Halopeplis

Perianth tube 4-lobed or none; embryo annular 46. Kalidium

6 Small shrubs or herbs; bracts connate, sometimes free, opposite, seldom spirally arranged, persistent; perianth adnate to the axis, seldom free 10

Small trees or shrubs; bracts free, spirally arranged, seldom opposite, deciduous; perianth free from the axis 7

7 Bracts altemate, spirally arranged, persistent 47. Allenroyea

Bracts opposite, caducous 8

8 Leaves reduced to suborbicular scales; flowers solitary, perianth 4-lobed; stamens 2, lateral; radicle lateral or ascending 50. Heterostachys

Leaves succulent scales, not surborbicular; flowers in groups of 3(-2); perianth 3-lobed; stamen 1, anterior; radicle inferior 9

9. Perianth lobes connate to just below the apex, fleshy, membranous in fruit and distinctly 3-angled 49. Halostachys

Perianth lobes connate below the middle, the lateral pair gibbous, green, herbaceous 48. Halocnemum

10 Perisperm abundant; stamen 1, abaxial ll

Perisperm absent; stamens 1-2 abaxial and adaxial; embryo horseshoe-shaped or conduplicate 58. Salicomia

11. Flowers solitary in the axils of foliage leaves; plants dioecious 57. Tegicomia

Flowers in groups of three in the axils of bracts; plants polygamous or bisexual l2

12 Lateral flowers of triad bisexual or pistillate 15

Lateral flowers of triad staminate 13

13 Flowers concealed by the bracts; equal in form and height; perianth becoming succulent or spongy in fruit; testa crustaceous, granular or smooth 53. Arthrocnemum

Flowers exserted from the bracts, dimorphic; perianth unmodified in fruit; testa membranous and smooth 14

14 Embryo annular; seed orbicular; leaf-lobes prominent, fleshy, divaricate 51. Pachycornia

Embryo straight or slightly curved; seed ovoid; leaf-lobes reduced, scarious 52. Sclerostegia

15.Perianth of 2 succulent, lateral tepals; bracts with lleshy margins 56. Tecticornia

Perianth 3-4-lobcd; bracts completely succulent or membranous 16

16 Annual herbs; bracts scale-like; flowers free from the bracts and from each other 54. Microcnemum

Shrubs; bracts succulent; flowers adnate to the bracts and with each other 55. Halosarcia

17 Fruit indehiscent 22

Fruit deshiscent by a circumscissile lid 18

18 Perianth perigynous, sometimes petaloid, stamens basally fused; flowers fused by their indurated bases 5. Beta

Perianth hypogynous, always herbaceous; stamens and flowers basally free 19

19 Perianth erect in fruit; stamens 0-3 21

Perianth stellately expanded in fruit, stamens 5 20

20 Plant climbing; flowers in a compound panicle; perianth lobes 3-nerved; 1-2 small bracteoles present 2. Hablitzia

Plant not climbing; flowers in i reduced dichasia, those arranged raceme-like; perianth lobes 1-nerved; bracteoles absent 3. Oreobliton

21 Perianth lobes usually 3; fruit 3-5-ridged; embryo incom pletely annular; branches without terminal spines in fruit 4. Aphanisma

Perianth lobes 5; fruit smooth, not 3-5-ridged; embryo annular; branches with terminal spines in fruit 1. Acroglochin

22 Flowers usually unisexual; pistillate flowers usually without perianth, bracteolate 50

Flowers usually bisexual; sometimes intermixed with pistillate ones, if unisexual then ebracteolate and with a perianth 23

23 Leaves narrow, linear oblong to lanceolate without a distinct petiole, though often narrowed towards base, then perianth horizontally winged; plants with straight, simple or stellate hairs 30

Leaves usually broad, distinctly petiolate; plants usually with vesicular or glandular hairs 24

24 Pericarp baccate; Howers often unisexual 29

Pericarp mostly dry, coriaceous or membranous; f1owers rarely unisexual 25

25.Perianth segment 1 or wanting, membranous, somewhat clavate but not hooded 12. Monolepis

Perianth segments 2-5(-8), usually herbaceous with membranous margins, or if 2-3, strongly hooded 26

26 Flowers bracteate and bracteolate 8. Baolia

Flowers ebracteate and ebractcolate 27

27 Plant with a basal rosette of leaves 10. Scleroblitum

Plant without a basal rosette of leaves 28

28 Leaves vesicular or glandular hairy or glabrous; perianth segments 5(2-8), i herbaceous 9. Chenopodium

Leaves glandular hairy; perianth segments 2-4, membranous ll. Dysphania

29. Trailing shrubs; seed vertical 7. Holmbergia

Erect shrubs; seed horizontal 6. Rhagodia

30. Hairs unbranched; perianth always well developed 34

Hairs stellate or dendritic, at least on the bracts, very rarely glabrous, then perianth petaloid; perianth often rudimentary 31

31. Fruits enclosed by the persistent perianth, becoming embedded in the woody branch axis 32. Eremophea

Fruits not enclosed by the perianth, not embedded in the branch axis 32

32. Perianth connate; lobes 5, petaloid, equal; fruit not hidden between bracts 44. Anthochlamys

Perianth free, sometimes wanting; lobes herbaceous. if 5 then lobes unequal; fruit hidden between bracts 33

33. Fruit plano convex, not beaked; leaves herbaceous, if 5 mostly 1-3-veined 42. Corispennum

Fruit flat at both sides, with 2 sharp beaks at the apex; leaves stiff, having 3 to many nerves 43. Agriophyllum

34. Flowers usually solitary in the leaf axils; fruiting perianth often much enlarged, hardened crustaceous or succulent, rarely membranous or scarious, often modified opposite the radicle 41

Flowers usually in spiciform or paniculate inflorescences; fruiting perianth chartaceous, membranous or scarious, unmodified opposite the radicle 35

35. Fruiting perianth accrescent, chartaceous; seeds usually horizontal; embryo annular or subannular 38

Fruiting perianth unmodified, membranous or scarious; seeds vertical; embryo horseshoe-shaped 36

36. Perianth 4-merous, often with 2 longer lateral lobes; leaves linear-filiform 27. Camphorosma

Perianth 5-merous; leaves lanceolate or oblong 37

37. Perianth minutely winged in fruit, tubercled on the back 26. Panderia

Perianth wingless in fruit; not tubercled on the back 25. Kirilowia

38 Fruiting perianth with a 5-lobed, annular wing, sometimes drawn out into spines; inflorescence paniculate 28. Cycloloma

Fruiting perianth with spines, tubercles, 5 free wings or without appendages; inflorescence spicate 39

39 Fruiting perianth without appendages or with short, wartlike tubercles 40

Fruiting perianth with wings or spines 30. Bassia (incl. Kochia )

40. Fruiting perianth membranous, free from the pericarp; perisperm sparse or absent 29. Chenolea

Fruting perianth scarious, adnate for the pericarp; perisperm abundant 30. Bassia

41. Fruiting perianth hardly accrescent, unappendaged, shor" ter than the nut-like pericarp 41. Roycea

Fruiting perianth often much accrescent, with various appendages; pericarp within the perianth 42

42. Wings, spines or lobes usually tepaline 45

Wings, spines or lobes intertepaline 43

43. Fruiting perianth with 2-11 spines or lobes. usually with a spine or tubercle opposite the radicle 40. Sclerolaena

Fruiting perianth with vertical wings or succulent and lobed, unmodified opposite the radicle 44

44. Seed horizontal; fruiting perianth thickened with 2-5, erect, intertepaline wings, unmodified opposite the radicle 38. Babbagia

Seed vertical; fruiting perianth with a succulent outer layer and with short lobes or tubercles; occasionally with a slit opposite the radicle 39. Threlkeldia

45. Fruiting perianth with thickened wings or spines; often without a slit opposite the radicle 47

Fruiting perianth with membranous wings and a slit or channel opposite the radicle 46

46 Fruiting perianth succulent; wings minute or absent 33. Enchylaena

Fruiting perianth crustaceous to woody; wing (or wings) distinct, horizontal (or both horizontal and vertical) 31. Maireana

47. Seed horizontal; radicle ascending or centrifugal 49

Seed vertical; radicle superior 48

48 Flowers paired, joined at the base; fruiting perianth with 5 scarious or thickened wings 34. Didymanthus

Flowers solitary; fruiting perianth with 5 spines or lobes 35. Neobassia

49 Fruiting perianth with 3 soft, horn-like appendages; flowers solitary or if in pairs then not fused together in fruit 36. Malacocera

Fruiting perianth with hard spine-like appendages; flowers 2-15, joined to form spherical heads 37. Dissocalpus

50 Bracteoles connate only basally or at most up to the middle, membranous 59

Bracteoles connate 2/3 of their length or almost to the top, often spongy or fleshy 51

51 Bracteoles markedly spongy or fleshy 15. Atriplex

Bracteoles dry, membranous 52

52 Plants glabrous, farinose or with vesicular hairs 55

Plants with stellate-dendroid hairs; if not then 2-keeled bracteoles winged in fruit 53

53 Bracteoles keeled, keel becoming a broad wing in fruit 21. Grayia

Bracteoles spinous in fruit 54

54. Annual; stamens 1(-2); perianth 2-lobed at the apex; leaves acute, spinous 22. Ceratocmpus

Perennial; stamens 4; perianth 4-lobed at the apex; leaves obtuse or acute, never spinous 20. Krascheninnikovia

55 Seeds horizontal; bracteoles 6-keeled 24. Zuckia

Seeds vertical; bracteoles appendaged or not, but never 6- keeled 56

56. Stigmas 4-5; radicle pointing downward, bracteoles 2-4- toothed 23. Spinacia

Stigmas 2-3; radicle pointing upward, bracteoles entire or 2-toothes or 2-lobed 57

57 Fruit transversely compressed in relation to the bracteoles 15. Atriplex

Fruit compressed parallel to the bracteoles or several female flowers subtended by one large 58

58 Perianth of pistillate flowers present 14. Endolepis

Perianth of pistillate flowers absent 15. Atriplex

59 Bracteoles vertically keeled; perianth of the staminate flowers subglobose, lobes unequal 19. Suckleya

Bracteoles smooth or appendaged, but never vertically keeled; perianth of the staminate flowers oblong, campanulate or urceolate, but never subglobose, lobes i equal 60

60 Bracteoles larger, i modified in fruit, enclosing the fruit 64

Bracteoles (not bractsl) small, unmodified in fruit, not enclosing the fruit 61

61 Perianth of pistillate flowers present, 3-4-lobed 62

Perianth of pistillate flowers absent or rudimentary 63

62. Plant covered with stellate-dendroid hairs 13. Axyris

Plant covered with unicellular inflated hairs 17. Archiatriplex

63. Annual herb; perianth-lobes hyaline; stigmas filiform; pericarp inflated; embryo horseshoe-shaped 18. Microgynoecium

Shrub; perianth-lobes membranous, not hyaline; stigmas narrow cylindrical; pericarp adherent, not inflated; embryo annular 16. Exomis

64 Perianth of pistillate flowers present 14. Endolepis

Perianth of pistillate flowers absent 15. Atriplex

65 Leaves opposite 98. Nitrophila

Leaves altemate 66

66 Leaves and bracteoles filiform, rigid, mostly pungent, deeply grooved 96. Polycnemum

Leaves linear, fleshy, terete, bracteoles broadly oval, acuminate, membranous 97. Hemichroa

67 Flowers ebracteolate; staminate flowers without a perianth, inserted below peltate scales 59. Sarcobatus

Flowers bracteolate; no staminate flowers below peltate scales 68

68 Bracteoles usually as large as or larger than the perianth; stigmas papillose inwardly; embryo mostly conical-spiral 75

Bracteoles (not bracts) scarious, small; stigmas papillose all around; embryo plano-spiral 69

69 Pericarp adherent to the perianth 74

Pericarp free from the perianth or connate only at the base 70

70 Flowers with a lobed disk between stamens and ovary; staminodal lobes deciduous; perianth free 67. Salsola

Flowers without a disk; perianth connate or free 71

71 Perianth-lobes keeled, rounded, thickly hooked or horned, but not winged; flowers subtended by 3 scarious bracteoles 60. Suaeda

Perianth-lobes winged 72

72 Wings broad, horizontal; perianth-lobes equal 60. Suaeda

Wings vertical; perianth-lobes unequal 73

73 Leaves subcylindrical, succulent; bracts not imbricately arranged; seeds horizontal, sometimes vertical 60. Suaeda

Leaves linear-lanceolate, coriaceous; flowers in the axils of imbricately arranged bracts; seeds vertical 61. Alexandra

74 Flowers unisexual; perianth compressed laterally, not winged; seed vertical 63. Borsczowia

Flowers bisexual; perianth compressed horizontally, surrounded by a horizontal wing; seed horizontal 62. Bienertia

75 Fruiting perianth membranous, at most indurated at the base, or if indurated throughout, then perianth horizontally winged 78

Fruiting perianth indurated throughout, but never horizontally winged 76

76 Leavcs opposite; flowers paired, connate at base, sessile on large bracts 87. Nucularia

Leaves alternate; flowers solitary or in many-flowered clusters, free at base, subtended by 2 (-3) bracteoles 77

77 Flowers solitary; perianth lobes equal; anthers acute; disc small; seeds horizontal 85. Traganum

Flowers in many-flowered clusters; perianth lobes unequal; anthers obtuse; disk well developed; seeds vertical 86. Traganopsis

78 Seeds or at least fruits vertical 93

Seeds or at least fruits horizontal 79

79 Upper bracts triangular, concave, the lower ones mucronulate; upper fruits winged, the lower ones Wingless 88. Horaninovia

Bracts and fruits not dimorphic 80

80 Flowers solitary or in several-flowered clusters 82

Inflorescence paniculate 81

81 Disk lobed, ciliate; staminodes semi-orbicular, glandular; leaves stiff 64. Haloxylon

Disk fleshy. not lobed and ciliate; staminodes absent; leaves fleshy 68. Halothamnus

82 Fruiting perianth dorsally tuberculate, thickened at the base 88. Horaninovia

Fruiting perianth i- horizontally or vertically winged 83

83 Perianth subglobular; win gs usually at the apex, sometimes near the middle 73. Arthrophytum

Perianth ovate to oblong; wings usually below the middle 84

84 Anthers with red appendages; style many times longer than stigmas 67. Salsola

Anthers appendaged or not, hut appendages never red: style absent or short 85

85 Stems seemingly leatless 64. Haloxylon

Stems with well-developed or shon leaves 86

86 Perianth segments i free from each other, 5-lobed, bracteoles subequal to the perianth or overtopping it 88

Perianth connate. urceolate, 5-dentate at the apex; bracteoles shorter than the perianth 87

87 Perianth segments vertically winged or crested 79. Fadenia

Perianth horizontally winged 81. Choriptera

88 Anthers without distinct appendages, at most with an acuminate connective 90

Anthers with appendages sagittately split to the base 89

89 Leaves succulent; perianth 3-winged 67. Salsola

Leaves stiff: perianth 5-winged below middle 82. Rhaphidophyton

90 Disk inconspicuous, not lobed 67. Salsola

Disk distinctly 5-lobed 91

91 Leaves opposite 72 Seidlitzia

Leaves alternate 92

92 Annual; perianth readily caducous in fruit; stamens 2-3 71. Halogeton

Undershrub; perianth not readily caducous; stamens 5 74. Iljinia

93 Perianth lobes i free from each other, usually almost to the base 95

Perianth urceolate, connate almost to the apex 94

94 Fruiting perianth with thick, dorsally inflated tips. with the greatest breadth in the upper part; pericarp membranous 80. Sevada

Fruiting perianth with horizontal, dentate wings, with the greatest breadth in the lower part; pericarp indurated 95. Lagenantha

95 Lobes of the fruiting perianth Wingless lll

All or at least the outerlobes of the fruiting perianth bearing wing-like outgrowths, these sometimes reduced to small tubercles, if none, then bracteoles surpassingthe perianth 96

96 Bracteoles not surpassing the perianth, or at most equalling it 99

Bracteoles surpassing the perianth, sometimes tightly enclosing the flower 97

97 Leaves opposite. united basally into a sheath; anthers unappendaged 69. Cyathobasis

Leaves alternate; anthers appendaged 98

98 Wing-like outgrowth tuberculate, borne about the middle of the outer perianth lobes, becoming cartilaginous in fruit 94. Halotis

Wings considerably below the middle of all perianth lobes, not cartilaginous in fruit 82. Rhaphidophyton

99 Leaves and branches alternate 102

Leaves and branches opposite 100

100 Disk inconspicuous 67. Salsola

Disk well developed. 5-lobed 101

101 Stems indistinctly articulate; radicle superior 76. Girgensohnia

Stems distinctly articulate; radicle inferior, rarely ascending 70. Anabasis

102 All 5 perianth lobes winged in fruit 106

Only 2 outer lobes of the perianth, rarely 3, bearing wing-like appendages in fruit, these sometimes reduced to tubercles 103

103 Stamens 1 (-2); 3 outer perianth lobes with rudimentary wings 83. Ofaiston

Stamens 2-5; usually only the 2 outer perianth lobes winged 104

104 Anthers unappendaged; disk lobed 71. Halogeton (Agathophora)

Anthers with bladdery appendages; disk without lobes 105

105 Wings scarious, overlapping at the margins. caducous near the base along a definite line of dehiscence, leaving auricles on the perianth lobes; perianth lobes basally connate 89. Piptoptera

Wings markedly discontiguous at the margins. not caducous; perianth lobes free 78. Halanthium

106 Flowers in several-tlowered heads at the end of the branches _ surrounded by a 2- to several-leaved involucre 65. Sympegma

Flowers not aggregated in heads 107

107 Anthers with red appendages; style many times longer than stigmas 67. Salsola

Anthers appendaged or not, but apendages never red; style shorter, as long as or slightly longer than the subulate stigmas 108

108 Disk inconspicuous. not 5-lobed or papillate 67. Salsola

Disk Well developed, usually 5-lobed and papillate 109

109 Anthers appendaged, perianth lobes membranous, i equal 66. Noaea

Anthers unappendaged 110

110 Annual; perianth readily caducous in fruit; stamens 2-3 71. Halogeton

Undershrub; perianth not readily caducous; stamens 5 74. Iljinia

111 Anthers appendaged 113

Anthers unappendaged, or apically somewhat pointed 112

112 Perianth lobes indurated_ one of them long, beakcd in fruit: fruit enclosed by the perianth 84. Cornulaca

Perianth lobes membranous, accrescent but not beaked; fruit exceeding the perianth 70. Anabasis

113 Shrub; disk 5-lobed, lobes dentate; perianth lobes accrescent in fruit 75. Nanophyton

Annual; disk inconspicuous, not lobed; perianth lobes unmodified in fruit 114

114 Anther appendages scarious_ smooth, 2- or 3-toothed, often connate 92. Petrosimonia

Anther appendages bladdery or scarcely inflated, then covered with minute prickles, never connate 115

115 Perianth lobes connate and indurated in the lower part 93. Halimocnemis

Perianth lobes free to the base, membranous 116

116 Style short, 5-tuberculate in the middle: stigma bilobedcapitate, covered with a radial veil 91. Halarchon

Style and stigma elongate. stigma without veil 117

117 Bracts altemate, not connate 77. Halocharis

Bracts opposite or subopposite, connate 90. Gamanthus

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Source: Plazi.org


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Foodplant / pathogen
Beet Mosaic virus infects and damages live leaf of 'Chenopodiaceae'

Foodplant / gall
larva of Bothynoderes affinis causes gall of tap-root (upper part) of 'Chenopodiaceae'

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Cassida nebulosa grazes on leaf of 'Chenopodiaceae'

Foodplant / saprobe
pycnidium of coelomycetous anamorph of Chaetoplea calvescens is saprobic on dead stem of 'Chenopodiaceae'

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Gronops inaequalis feeds on 'Chenopodiaceae'

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Lixus scabricollis feeds within stem of 'Chenopodiaceae'

Foodplant / feeds on
Orthotylus flavosparsus feeds on 'Chenopodiaceae'

Foodplant / feeds on
Orthotylus moncreaffi feeds on 'Chenopodiaceae'
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
adult of Piesma maculatum sucks sap of 'Chenopodiaceae'


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