Chenopodium opulifolium Schrad. ex W. D. J. Koch & Ziz — Overview

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Cat. PI. Palat. 6 (1814) ; DC., FI. Fr. 6: 372 (1815) ; Bak. & C. B. Cl. in F.T.A. 6 (1): 78 (1909) ; Hauman in F.C.B. 2: 7 (1951).

Type: Germany, Arheilgen, Borkhausen (location unknown)

Herb up to 60-150 (-300) cm. high, annual or apparently sometimes a short-lived perennial which may become woody below, normally very much branched, green to almost white, rarely red-tinged, grey-mealy, sometimes densely so on young shoots, inflorescences and undersides of leaves. Leaves variable, mostly broadly and shortly rhombic-ovate, the median and lower almost as broad as long, from about (0.7 X 04 cm.-) 1 x 0.7-1 cm. to 3.7 X 2.8-3.7 cm. and 5.4 X 5.4 cm., in the lower third or about the middle normally with a short prominent often bilobed divergent lateral lobe each side, the margins above this lobe entire or with up to several teeth, apex of leaf rounded or acute; in African specimens the lobes not uncommonly less prominent or even the leaves subentire; upper leaves smaller and more acute. Inflorescence a panicle, usually ample, of very numerous small densely or laxly spicately or rarely cymosely arranged dense rounded clusters ("glomerules") of minute grey to greenish flowers, latter 1-1.5 mm. in diameter. Sepals 5, papillose on margins and outside, each with a prominent green keel in upper part. Stamens 5. Pericarp somewhat persistent, but readily scraped off seed. Seeds (Fig. 2/2, p. 3) black, shining, 1.1-1.0 mm. in diameter,bluntly keeled, testa under microscope marked with radial furrows and minute irregular papillose roughening in between.

Uganda. Karamoja District: Mt. Debasien, Jan. 1936, Eggding 2840!; Kigezi District: Kachwekano Farm, Feb. 1950,Purseglove 3246!; Teso District: Serere, May 1932, Chandler 563!

Kenya. Northern Frontier Province: Moyale, 18 July 1952, Gillett 13608!; Naivasha District: Kedong, Mount Margaret Estate, June 1940, Bally 910 in C.M. 17088 I; Nairobi, 12 June 1930, Napier 296 in C.M. 1006!

Tanganyika. Moshi District: Lyamungu, 24 Aug. 1932, Oremway 3137!; Lushoto

District: Makuyuni, Koritschoner 1060!; Kondoa District: Sambala, 28 Mar. 1929, Burtt 21511

Distb. Ul-4; El, 3-7; Tl-7; Europe and the Mediterranean Region, eastwards to India and? Mongolia, southwards through tropical Africa to Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Angola and? S. Africa; adventive in N. America

Hab. A weed of cultivation and settled areas; 760-2100 m.

Syn. [ C. album sensu Rhein. Mag. 1: 472-3 (1793); Bak. & C. B. Cl. in F.T.A. 6(1): 78 (1909), pro majore parte,excl. syn. C. murale , C. olukondae, et Kotschy 8, Pfund 454, non L. ]

[ C. album L. var. viride sensu Bak. & C. B. Cl , in F.T.A. 6?:78 (1909), pro parte quoad Speke db Grant 609,non (L.) Moq ,]

C. opulifolium [Schrad. ex] Koch & Ziz subsp. ugandae Aellenin F.R. 24: 339 (1928) . Type: Kenya, Nairobi,Meams 283 (US, holo.!)

G. mucronatum Thunb. var. mbintegrum Aellenin F.R. 24: 340 (1928) , pro parte?,saltem quoad Holst 8894, Tanganyika, Usambaras, Kwa Mshuza (Z, syn.?,K, isosyn.!), Holst 8924 (US, syn.!)

[ C. opulifolium [Schrad. ex] Koch & Ziz var. olukondae sensu Haumanin F.C.B. 2: 8 (1951) quoad descr. et spec, cit., saltem De Craene 144, non (Murr) Hauman ] C. opulifolium [Schrad. ex] Koch & Ziz subsp. orientale (" orientalis M) Murrin Mag. Bot. Lapok 1: 339 (1902) . Numerous syntypes cited, including three from our area: Fischer, Stuhlmann, Stuhlmann (B, syn. f)

Variation. The leaves are decidedly variable in the prominence of the lateral lobe8 and the amount of toothing. The frequent tendency in East Africa for this species to have inconspicuous lateral lobes and sometimes scarcely any teeth besides is quite inconstant even in our area, evidently of no systematic significance, and commonly no more than a state. I have seen closely similar specimens from Europe. Such plants have been called G. mucronatum var. subintegrum and C. opulifolium var. olukondae . Neither C. mucronatum Thunb. nor C. olukondae (Murr) Murr appear conspecific with G. opulifolium and neither of them apparently occurs in East Africa.


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