Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Chenopodium pumilio R.Br.

Chenopodium pumilio


Family: Chenopodiaceae
Full name: Chenopodium pumilio R.Br.
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): -
English common name(s): Clammy goosefoot
Synonym(s): -
Status: Alien
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. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Tropical East Africa)

Stems prostrate to suberect, much-branched to ± simple, 0.1–4.5 dm, pilose with segmented (uniseriate) hairs and sessile or stipitate glandular hairs. Leaves malodorous; petiole 0.3–1.5 cm; blade narrowly to broadly elliptic to ovate, 0.5–2.7 × 0.3–1.5 cm, somewhat reduced in inflorescence, base cuneate, apex obtuse, glandular-pilose. Inflorescences lateral cymes or glomerules; glomerules subglobose, 1.2–2.5 mm diam.; bracts leaflike, 3–4.5 mm, elliptic, margins crenate-dentate, apex obtuse. Flowers: perianth segments 5, distinct nearly to base, distinct portions narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong, 0.6–0.7 × 0.2–0.3 mm, apex acute, normally rounded abaxially, usually glandular-pilosulose, becoming crustaceous and white in fruit; stamens absent or 1; stigmas 2. Achenes ovoid; pericarp adherent, membranaceous, slightly rugose. Seeds reddish brown, ovoid, 0.5–0.7 × 0.5–0.6 mm, margins keeled or rounded; seed coat smooth. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of North America)

Dysphania pumilio is morphologically close to D. carinata, another alien species from Australia that is widely distributed in southern Africa (e.g. in Namibia). It is easily distinguished from the latter species by smooth perianth segments that lack a keel. (from Chorological and taxonomic notes on African plants 3, Alexander P. Sukhorukov, et al, Botany Letters, 165:2, 2018)

Prostrate or procumbent, often greyish, aromatic annual with branches to c. 50 cm long. Leaves and stems variable covered with twisted septate and subsessile short glandular hairs. Leaves petiolate, ovate to obovate, 5–20 mm long, 3–10 mm wide, margins sinuate to shallowly lobed. Flowers female or bisexual, in small axillary clusters; tepals 5, shortly united at base, often thickening and becoming pale and prominently rounded dorsally with maturity; stamen solitary or absent; pericarp membranous, closely adherent to seed. Seed erect, c. 0.5 mm diam., dark red-brown, remaining enclosed by fruiting perianth when shed. Flowers mostly Dec.–May. (from Flora of Victoria website)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 25 Apr 2021
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: EOS 7D
Lens aperture: f/10.0
Shutter speed: 1/60 s
ISO speed: 1250
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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Last updated 18 Apr 2024

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