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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Amaranthaceae

11. Iresine P. Browne, Civ. Nat. Hist. Jamaica. 358. 1756.
[name conserved]

Bloodleaf [Greek eiresione, a wreath or staff entwined with strips of wool, alluding to the long woolly hairs often encircling the calyx]

Steven E. Clemants

Herbs, shrubs or vines, annual or perennial, polygamous or dioecious. Stems erect to prostrate, often trailing. Leaves opposite or alternate, petiolate; blade elliptic, ovate, or lanceolate to lance-oblong, margins entire or serrulate, glabrous or pubescent. Inflorescences terminal, diffuse, open panicles of spikes and axillary spikes; bracts and bracteoles membranous. Flowers unisexual; tepals 5, basally connate or distinct, 1-3-veined; stamens mostly 5; filaments connate basally; anthers 2-locular; pseudostaminodes absent or short; ovule 1; style 1, ca. 0.2 mm; stigmas 2-3, slender or capitate. Utricles globose, membranous, dehiscing irregularly. Seeds 1, dark red or reddish-brown, lenticular. x = 15.

Species ca. 70 (5 in the flora): mostly littoral in tropical and subtropical America (including Galápagos Islands), Asia (s Japan), and w Africa.


Henrickson, J. and S. D. Sundberg. 1986. On the submersion of Dicraurus into Iresine (Amaranthaceae). Aliso 11: 355-364.

1 Leaves alternate   1 Iresine leptoclada
+ Leaves opposite   (2)
2 (1) Stems woody nearly throughout; tepals of pistillate flowers ┬▒ equaling bractlets   2 Iresine palmeri
+ Stems herbaceous; tepals of pistillate flowers longer than bractlets   (3)
3 (2) Plants annual or weakly perennial, 4-30 dm; tepals 0.6-0.8 mm, apex obtuse or rounded   3 Iresine diffusa
+ Plants perennial, 3-10 dm; tepals 1-1.3 mm, apex acute to acuminate   (4)
4 (3) Leaf blades 6-15 cm; tepals of pistillate flowers shorter than utricle   4 Iresine rhizomatosa
+ Leaf blades 3-6 cm; tepals of pistillate flowers longer than utricle   5 Iresine heterophylla

Lower Taxa


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