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Chenopodium glaucum

Description from Flora of China

Blitum glaucum (Linnaeus) W. D. J. Koch.

Herbs annual, 20-40 cm tall. Stem decumbent or diffuse, green or purple-red striate, ribbed. Petiole 5-10 mm; leaf blade oblong-ovate to lanceolate, 2-4 × 0.6-2 cm, fleshy, abaxially gray-white farinose, sometimes slightly reddish purple, adaxially glabrous, base attenuate, margin irregularly erose to dentate (sometimes indistinctly lobed), apex acute or obtuse; midvein prominent, yellow-green. Flowers bisexual and female, usually several per glomerule, arranged on branches in spicate or paniculate inflorescences (and/or in axillary glomerules), these shorter than leaves and interrupted. Perianth segments 3 or 4, light green, narrowly oblong or obovate-lanceolate, less than 1 mm, slightly succulent, usually not farinose, apex usually obtuse. Stamens 1 or 2; filaments not exserted from perianth; anthers globose. Stigmas 2, very short. Utricle protruding from perianth; pericarp yellow-white, membranous. Seed horizontal, oblique, or vertical, dark brown or red-brown, compressed globose, ca. 0.75 mm in diam., pitted, rim margin obtuse. Fl. and fr. May-Oct.

Chenopodium glaucum is a variable species represented by various forms of little or no taxonomic significance. However, throughout its extremely wide range it is also differentiated into several morphologically intergrading but geographically defined subspecies or microspecies.

Chenopodium amurense Ignatov (Byull. Moskovsk. Obshch. Isp. Prir., Otd. Biol. 91: 111. 1986) was described from the Amur River area of the Russian Far East. This little-known entity clearly belongs to the C. glaucum aggregate (as a species or subspecies), differing from C. glaucum s.str. by having 3-lobed leaves and distinctly spatulate perianth segments. Such plants probably also occur in NE China. It should be noted, however, that 3-lobed leaves are characteristic of the rare hybrid, C. ×schulzeanum Murr (C. glaucum × C. rubrum).

Fields, vegetable gardens, peripheries of villages, slightly saline-alkaline soils. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Yunnan [N and S temperate zones].


 

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