Common names: Goosefoot Family
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 258. Mentioned on page 268, 302.

Herbs, shrubs (rarely small trees), annual or perennial, monoecious, dioecious, or polygamous, evergreen or deciduous. Roots fibrous, taprooted, sometimes fusiform or bulbous, fleshy and thickened in Beta. Stems sometimes succulent and apparently jointed, or with slippery and aromatic bark, sometimes spiny, alternate or opposite; pubescence silvery, sometimes stellate or glandular, often scurfy from inflated salt glands that senesce into white flakes. Leaves simple, usually alternate, occasionally opposite, lacking stipules, petiolate or sessile, sometimes reduced to small scales, or fleshy; blade linear to broadly triangulate in outline, margins entire to serrate, serrate-dentate, or lobed. Inflorescences: flowers solitary or clustered in axillary or terminal glomerules or in short, cylindric spikes; bracts absent or 1–5, deciduous or persistent, of various shapes. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, uniseriate, radially or rarely bilaterally symmetric; bracteoles absent or 1–5, connate basally, green; perianth segments 5, sometimes 1 or absent, green, inconspicuous, fleshy in Salicornia and Sarcocornia, strongly imbricate in Nitrophila; petals absent; stamens absent or 1–5, usually as many as and opposite perianth lobes; pistils absent or (1–) 2 (–3); styles 1–3, sometimes with stylopodium; ovary usually superior, half-inferior in Sarcobatus, inferior and connate with receptacle in fruit in Beta, 1-locular with single, basally attached ovule. Fruiting structures: bracteoles or fruiting bracts brown, black, or reddish-brown, monomorphic or sometimes dimorphic; perianth segments deciduous or persistent in mature fruits and of various shapes and ornamentation, accrescent around fruits; fruits achenes or utricles, vertical or horizontal within perianth parts, pericarp (ovary wall) adherent or nonadherent, chartaceous or papery, sometimes reticulate, mottled or smooth. Ovules usually 1, campylotropous, bitegmic, crassinucellate. Seeds 1 per flower, black, brown, reddish-brown, or mixture, flattened vertically or rounded, margins winged or not winged, surfaces smooth and shiny or reticulate, regulate, verrucate, prickly, or indistinct, morphology variable and strongly influenced by plant photoperiod; seed-coat smooth, striate, or verrucate when pericarp removed; embryo large, curved to annular or spirally coiled; radicle position median or basal, ascending or pointing outward; endosperm usually digested by developing embryo and food storage taken over by perisperm. x = 9. Polyploidy common.

Distribution

Worldwide, especially in desert and semidesert regions, often in alkaline or saline habitats

Discussion

Genera ca. 100, species ca. 1500 (27 genera, 168 species in the flora).

A number of species introduced from Europe and Asia are weedy in North America. The widespread distribution of the family in the deserts of Eurasia and Australia is indicative of the ancient status of the family. Fossil pollen from this family dates to the Maestrichtian, providing the oldest known fossils in the Caryophylliidae.

Plants in this family typically have Crassulacean Acid Metabolism, have either a C3 or C4 photosynthetic pathway (W. V. Brown 1975; G. W. Welkie and M. Caldwell 1970), accumulate organic acids, free nitrates, and oxalates, and often contain alkaloids. Along with other members of the Caryophyllales, members of the family contain pigments called betalains (named for the genus Beta) rather than anthocyanins.

Economically important members of this family include spinach and chard (Spinacia oleracea) and beets (Beta vulgaris). Seeds in this family generally provide a rich source of protein, and one species, Chenopodium quinoa, is gaining widespread acceptance as a cereal crop. Toxicity from high levels of nitrates or oxalates has been reported for a number of species (J. M. Kingsbury 1964), and the pollen is known to be allergenic (T. C. Fuller and E. McClintock 1986). The nutritional characteristics of many species that we share with northern Asia were described by M. M. Iljin (1936).

Molecular and morphologic studies provide evidence supporting the inclusion of the Chenopodiaceae within Amaranthaceae (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998; W. S. Judd and I. K. Ferguson 1999; J. E. Rodman 1990). However, until discordant elements within these lineages, such as Sarcobatus (H.-D. Behnke 1997), are interpreted within a larger evolutionary scheme, the disposition of family groups remains problematic.

Illustrations

 Family TaxonIllustrator 
FNA4 P42 Polycnemum majus.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Polycnemum majus
Nitrophila occidentalis
Aphanisma blitoides
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P43 Cycloloma atriplicifolium.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Cycloloma atriplicifolium
Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
Dysphania chilensis
Bee F. Gunn
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P44 Dysphania multifida.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Dysphania multifida
Dysphania botrys
Dysphania graveolens
Dysphania pumilio
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P45 Chenopodium californicum.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodium californicum
Chenopodium capitatum var. capitatum
Chenopodium chenopodioides
Chenopodium rubrum var. rubrum
Chenopodium glaucum var. glaucum
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P46 Chenopodium simplex.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodium simplex
Chenopodium murale
Chenopodium pratericola
Chenopodium cycloides
Chenopodium atrovirens
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P47 Chenopodium fremontii.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodium fremontii
Chenopodium incanum var. incanum
Chenopodium nevadense
Chenopodium watsonii
Chenopodium ficifolium
Chenopodium berlandieri var. zschackei
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P48 Chenopodium standleyanum.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodium standleyanum
Chenopodium album
Chenopodium strictum
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P49 Monolepis nuttalliana.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Monolepis nuttalliana
Monolepis spathulata
Micromonolepis pusilla
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P50 Spinacia oleracea.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Spinacia oleracea
Zuckia brandegeei var. brandegeei
Zuckia brandegeei var. arizonica
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P51 Suckleya suckleyana.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Suckleya suckleyana
Grayia spinosa
Krascheninnikovia lanata
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P52 Axyris amaranthoides.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Axyris amaranthoides
Bassia hyssopifolia
Kochia scoparia subsp. scoparia
Kochia americana
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P53 Corispermum americanum var americanum.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Corispermum pallasii
Corispermum americanum var. americanum
Corispermum welshii
Corispermum navicula
Corispermum villosum
Corispermum ochotense var. ochotense
Corispermum pallidum
Corispermum pacificum
Corispermum hyssopifolium
Corispermum nitidum
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P54 Allenrolfea occidentalis.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Allenrolfea occidentalis
Atriplex hortensis
Atriplex patula
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P55 Atriplex gmelinii var gmelinii.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Atriplex gmelinii var. gmelinii
Atriplex dioica
Atriplex prostrata
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P56 Atriplex rosea.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Atriplex rosea
Atriplex semibaccata
Atriplex pleiantha
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P57 Atriplex graciliflora.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Atriplex graciliflora
Atriplex saccaria var. saccaria
Atriplex truncata
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P58 Atriplex elegans var elegans.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Atriplex elegans var. elegans
Atriplex watsonii
Atriplex phyllostegia
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P59 Atriplex obovata.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Atriplex obovata
Atriplex gardneri var. gardneri
Atriplex gardneri var. cuneata
Atriplex hymenelytra
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P60 Atriplex lentiformis.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Atriplex lentiformis
Atriplex canescens var. canescens
Arthrocnemum subterminale
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P61 Salicornia bigelovii.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Salicornia depressa
Salicornia bigelovii
Sarcocornia perennis
Sarcocornia utahensis
Sarcobatus vermiculatus
Sarcobatus baileyi
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Bee F. Gunn
Bee F. Gunn
FNA4 P62 Suaeda linifolia.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Suaeda linifolia
Suaeda calceoliformis
Suaeda taxifolia
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
FNA4 P63 Salsola kali.jpegChenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Chenopodiaceae
Salsola kali
Salsola kali subsp. pontica
Salsola tragus
Salsola paulsenii
Salsola collina
Salsola soda
Salsola vermiculata
Halogeton glomeratus
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey

Key

1 Leaves scalelike; stems fleshy or succulent; plants of saline habitats > 2
1 Leaves well developed, not scalelike; stems not fleshy (except Arthrocnemum, and Sarcocornia, which is fleshy when young); plants of various habitats > 5
2 Leaves alternate Allenrolfea
2 Leaves opposite > 3
3 Plants annual herbs; all stems terminated by an inflorescence Salicornia
3 Plants perennial shrubs; many stems entirely vegetative > 4
4 Flowers distinct in each cyme, not adnate; outer seed coat hard, tuberculate Arthrocnemum
4 Flowers of each cyme adnate to distal branch of inflorescence; outer seed coat thin, covered with hooked or straight hairs Sarcocornia
5 Leaves opposite; perianth strongly imbricate Nitrophila
5 Leaves alternate, rarely opposite; perianth slightly, if at all imbricate > 6
6 Inflorescence leaves or bracts tipped with spine or spinelike bristle > 7
6 Inflorescence leaves and bracts not tipped with spine or bristle > 9
7 Leaves triquetrous, triangular in cross section, terminating in soft or rarely rigid, flattened bristle Polycnemum
7 Leaves terete or flat in cross section, terminating in stiff, mucronate spine tips or bristle > 8
8 Fruiting perianth abaxially winged; leaves linear to subulate, herbaceous or fleshy, spine-tipped or not; bracts of inflorescence ovate-lanceolate, spine tipped Salsola
8 Fruiting perianth apically winged; leaves terete, fleshy-succulent, bristle- tipped; bracts of inflorescence similar to leaves Halogeton
9 Leaves sub- or semicylindric to linear, usually fleshy > 10
9 Leaves with flattened blades, not especially fleshy > 12
10 Shrubs armed with thorny branches; flowers unisexual, staminate flowers in spikes, pistillate flowers solitary or paired and axillary Sarcobatus
10 Shrubs or herbs, not armed; flowers bisexual or both bisexual and pistillate, solitary or 2-5 in axillary clusters > 11
11 Fruiting perianth developing horizontal, membranceous wings or tubercles; leaves herbaceous Kochia
11 Fruiting perianth without wings or tubercules, unchanged from flowering peri- anth; leaves fleshy Suaeda
12 Plants stellate-pubescent annual herbs Axyris
12 Plants glabrous, farinose, or with dendritic hairs; if the latter, then plants woody perennials > 13
13 Plants densely tomentose with at least some stellate hairs becoming golden brown in age, subshrubs Krascheninnikovia
13 Plants hairy or glabrous, not as above, shrubs or herbs > 14
14 Pistillate flowers usually lacking perianth, at least some flowers enclosed by 2 accrescent or connate bracts in fruit; flowers unisexual or, rarely, bisexual > 15
14 Perianth present, not enclosed by paired bracts in fruit; flowers bisexual or unisexual (Micromonolepis) or some also pistillate > 19
15 Stigmas 4 or 5; plants cultivated herbs Spinacia
15 Stigmas 2; plants not or seldom cultivated > 16
16 Bracts (or bractlike perianth segments) dorsally compressed, usually triangular, smooth, tuberculate, vertically keeled, or winged; pubescence usually of inflated hairs or, sometimes, none; axillary rounded buds absent or inconspicuous > 17
16 Bracts laterally compressed, keeled, or winged, lacking appendages; pubescence of simple or branched hairs > 18
17 Bractlike perianth segments united below middle, vertically keeled; plants annual Suckleya
17 Bracts united above middle, not vertically keeled; plants pe- rennial or annual Atriplex
18 Shrubs with divaricate, often spinescent branches; bracts with margins thickened, spongy within; pubescence of branched hairs Grayia
18 Shrubs with erect thornless branches; bracts with margins not spongy-thickened, either obcompressed or dorsiventrally compressed and 6-ribbed; pubescence of scurfy or moniliform hairs Zuckia
19 Perianth horizontally winged in fruit > 20
19 Perianth not horizontally winged in fruit > 21
20 Leaf blade margins sinuate-dentate; plants ± villous or tomentulose, becoming glabrous with maturity Cycloloma
20 Leaf blade margins entire; plants usually glabrous, sometimes slightly pubescent Kochia
21 Proximal leaves petiolate, middle ones merely sessile, distal ones cordate-clasping; style branches 3 Aphanisma
21 Leaves not as above; style branches mainly 2 > 22
22 Perianth segments each armed with spiniform, hooked, or conic appendages Bassia
22 Perianth segments rounded or keeled abaxially, lacking wings or spines > 23
23 Ovary partly inferior; plants cultivated, rarely naturalized Beta
23 Ovary superior; plants native or naturalized, not cultivated > 24
24 Perianth lobes 5, largely enfolding and concealing to exposing fruits; stamens usually 5 > 25
24 Perianth lobes 1-3 or absent; fruits largely exposed; stamens 1-3(-5) > 26
25 Plants (at least some parts) with glandular or glandular-vesicular hairs Dysphania
25 Plants farinose or glabrous Chenopodium
26 Plants dichotomously branched, ultimate branches filiform; leaves oblong, succulent Micromonolepis
26 Plants not dichotomously branching, ultimate branches not filiform; leaves triangular-lanceolate to oblanceolate, spatulate, or linear > 27
27 Leaves triangular-lanceolate to oblanceolate or spatulate; perianth segments usually 1 (2-3 segments in central flowers); stamens usually 1; plants widespread, of many habitats Monolepis
27 Leaves lanceolate, linear-lanceolate, or filiform; perianth segments 1-3; stamens 1-3(-5); plants of sandy, low elevation sites. Corispermum
... more about "Chenopodiaceae"
Stanley L. Welsh +, Clifford W. Crompton +  and Steven E. Clemants +
Ventenat +
slippery +
aromatic +
linear +  and broadly triangulate +
persistent +  and deciduous +
reddish-brown +, black +, brown +  and green +
Goosefoot Family +
Worldwide +, especially in desert and semidesert regions +  and often in alkaline or saline habitats +
symmetric +, or +  and uniseriate +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
opposite +  and alternate +
not winged +  and winged +
entire +  and serrate +
lobed +  and serrate-dentate +
inferior +, half-inferior +  and superior +
crassinucellate +  and bitegmic +
campylotropous +
1 +  and single +
persistent +  and deciduous +
nonadherent +  and adherent +
papery +  and chartaceous +
pointing +  and ascending +
basal +, median +  and position +
carolin1983a +, judd1999a +, kuhn1993a +, scott1978a +, scott1978b +, standley1917a +  and standley1926a +
bulbous +  and taprooted +
fusiform +
fleshy +  and fibrous +
verrucate +  and striate +
rounded +  and flattened +
cylindric +
1 (?) +  and 5 (?) +
opposite +  and alternate +
succulent +
sessile +  and petiolate +
reduced;small +
horizontal +  and vertical +
verrucate +
Chenopodiaceae +
deciduous +, evergreen +, perennial +  and annual +
shrub +  and herb +
polygamous +, dioecious +  and monoecious +