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Genus Chenopodium Family Chenopodiaceae

Description: Annual to perennial herbs or shrubs, frequently with vesicular and/or glandular hairs, the vesicular hairs bursting early and forming a mealy surface.

Leaves alternate, entire or variously lobed or dissected; petiolate.

Inflorescence terminal and/or axillary, paniculate or cymose, frequently much reduced. Flowers bisexual or female, at least the terminal flower of any cluster usually bisexual. Perianth segments 3–5, free or variously fused. Stamens 5, or rarely 1–4, free or fused into a disc at the base. Stigmas 2–4.

Pericarp membranous, rarely succulent. Seed either falling free or enclosed in perianth.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 70 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: 24 species (10 species naturalized), all States.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Perennial shrubs, usually more than 50 cm high2
Annual or perennial herbs, or if shrubby, then less than 50 cm high4
2Spinescent shrub with spathulate to linear leavesChenopodium nitrariaceum
Non-spiny shrubs; leaves elliptic to hastate
                       Back to 1
3Fruit succulent; leaves densely hairy, 1–15 mm longChenopodium curvispicatum
Fruit dry; leaves glabrescent above, mealy below, at least some more than 20 mm long
                       Back to 2
Chenopodium auricomum
4Perianth either glabrous or slightly mealy and not shed with fruit5
Perianth mealy; perianth shed with the fruit enclosed
                       Back to 1
5Perianth glaucousChenopodium glaucum
Perianth slightly mealy
                       Back to 4
6Leaves with entire marginsChenopodium auricomiforme
Leaves with deeply incised margins
                       Back to 5
Chenopodium erosum
7Plants foetid8
Plants not foetid
                       Back to 4
8Perianth segments fused to near apexChenopodium vulvaria
Perianth segments fused only at base
                       Back to 7
9Stamens 1 or 2; leaves sparsely hairy, 3–10 cm longChenopodium detestans
Stamens 5; leaves densely hairy, c. 1 cm long
                       Back to 8
Chenopodium desertorum
10Leaves usually 20 mm long or less; margins entire11
Leaves, or at least the lower ones, more than 30 mm long, margins usually toothed
                       Back to 7
11Seeds reticulate; pericarp succulentChenopodium curvispicatum
Seeds smooth to slightly wrinkled, pericarp dry or succulent
                       Back to 10
Chenopodium desertorum
12Seed black, strongly patterned; leaves to 15 cm long, margins deeply incisedChenopodium erosum
Seed black to brownish, smooth or with minute or weakly developed pattern; leaves to 9 cm long, margins variously toothed
                       Back to 10
13Leaves usually mealy with vesicular hairs, especially on lower surface; seeds bluntly keeled, smooth to weakly furrowed, pericarp readily detachedChenopodium album
Leaves nearly glabrous, except when very young; seeds prominently keeled, finely pitted, pericarp persistent
                       Back to 12
Chenopodium murale

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