Chenopodium pumilio

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Chenopodium pumilio

Biology And Ecology

Hab. A weed of cultivated areas and by railways, in some places very common; most probably introduced with agricultural seeds; 1650-2530 m.

Distribution

Kenya. TJasin Gishu District: 6 km. E. of Eldoret, 28 Aug. 1948, Bogdan 1885!; Nairobi, Kabete, 28 May 1947, Bogdan 558!; Kerichó District: Kericho, 19 July 1933, Napier 2681 in C.M. 5096!

Distr. K3-6; native of Australia, also in New Zealand and New Caledonia; frequently introduced with wool into other parts of the world, e.g. the United States and Europe, including Britain

Description

Annual herb, prostrate or ascending, with numerous usually slender simple to much branched stems 2-45 cm. long radiating from rootstock, green rarely red-tinged, pubescent and glandular, aromatic. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate in outline, small, mostly 0.3-2-7 cm. long and 0.2-1.3 cm. wide, with 2-4 (-5) usually coarse sometimes obscure teeth or lobes on each margin, rarely (on depauperate plants) entire or almost so, glands between veins on lower side of leaves sessile to subsessile, not or only sometimes accompanied by glandular hairs except on veins. Flowers greenish, minute, about 0.4-0.75 mm. in diameter, sessile or subsessile in small rounded axillary clusters at most of the nodes. Sepals 4-5, sessile-glandular especially below, and more or less pubescent above, not at all keeled, but in fruit becoming rounded-convex on back outside and often whitish or pallid. Stamen 1. Pericarp easily scraped off seed. Seeds (Fig. 2/9, p. 3) all " vertical " (laterally compressed), deep red-brown, shining, 0.5-0.75 mm. in diameter, bluntly or sharply keeled; testa under microscope almost smooth.

Discussion

The East African specimens are typical Chenopodium pumilio and not Chenopodium pumilio (Moq.) Aellen in Verh. Naturf. Gesellsch. Basel 44 (1); 315 (1933) . J. M. Black,Fl. S. Austral., ed. 2,2: 289 (1948) ,separates the common form of Chenopodium pumilio with deeply lobed leaves 5-20 mm. long as Chenopodium pumilio Black , the type of Chenopodium pumilio having very small entire or very shallowly lobed leaves 3-8 mm. long. The var. oblongifolium, Miss C. M. Eardley kindly informs me, has not been provided with a valid Latin description, but whether the type of Chenopodium pumilio represents a constant variant or a mere state has still to be decided; for the present therefore var. oblongifolium is not adopted here, though later research may show it to be valid.

Other

Syn. [ ]

Citation

Prodr. FI. Nov. Holl. 1: 407 (1810)
Benth., FI. Austral. 5: 163 (1870)
Black, Fl. S, Austral., ed. 2,2: 289 (1948).
Aellen in Verh. Naturf. Gesellsch. Basel 44 (1): 314 (1933)
Ulbr. in E. & P. Pf., ed. 2, 16c: 494 (1934)

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