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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 5 | Chenopodiaceae

9. Axyris Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 979. 1753.

轴藜属 zhou li shu

Herbs annual, covered with stellate hairs. Stems decumbent, ascending, or erect. Leaves alternate, petiolate; leaf blade flattened, lanceolate to ovate, margin entire. Flowers unisexual (plants monoecious). Male flowers sessile, several glomerulate in axils of upper branches and forming a spike; bracts and bractlets absent; perianth segments 3-5, obovate or elliptic, membranous, densely stellate pubescent abaxially, without appendages; disk absent; stamens 2-5; filaments linear; anthers broadly oblong; ovary rudimentary. Female flowers inserted on petiole of bract; bracts green, elliptic, midvein abaxially prominent; bractlets absent; perianth segments 3 or 4, membranous, without appendages, enlarged in fruit; ovary ovoid; style short; stigmas 2. Fruit a utricle, compressed, ellipsoid or ovoid, glabrous or wrinkled, usually with a crestlike appendage. Seed vertical; embryo semi-annular; radicle inferior; perisperm copious.

About six species: Asia, SE Europe; three species in China.

1 Plants 2–14 cm tall; stems decumbent; petiole almost as long as leaf blade; leaf blade 0.5-1 cm; male inflorescences capitate; utricle obovoid, apical appendages small or obscure.   3 A. prostrata
+ Plants 5–80 cm tall; stems erect, branches obliquely spreading or ascending; petiole much shorter than leaf blade; leaf blade 0.5-7 cm; male inflorescences spicate; utricle narrowly ellipsoid, ovoid, or broadly ellipsoid-obovoid, apical appendages small or larger and forming a crest.   (2)
2 (1) Leaf blade lanceolate, 3-7 cm; utricle narrowly ellipsoid or ovoid, compressed, not encircled by wrinkles though sometimes marked with lines, apical appendages larger, forming an emarginate crest.   1 A. amaranthoides
+ Leaf blade ovate, elliptic, or oblong-lanceolate, 0.5-3.5 cm; utricle broadly ellipsoid-obovoid, encircled by wrinkles, apical appendages small, triangular.   2 A. hybrida

Lower Taxa


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