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Published In: Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 28(36): 172–173. 1915. (Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/4/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Iresine rhizomatosa Standl. (bloodleaf)

Pl. a, b; Map 828

Plants perennial herbs (annual or woody elsewhere), dioecious, with slender rhizomes. Aerial stems 40–150 cm long, erect or strongly ascending, somewhat angled or slightly ridged longitudinally, inconspicuously pubescent with short, unbranched hairs, often only at the slightly swollen nodes. Leaves opposite, short- to more commonly long-petiolate. Leaf blades 5–14 cm long, thin and herbaceous, lanceolate to more commonly ovate, tapered abruptly at the base, gradually narrowed or tapered to a sharply pointed tip, the margins entire or occasionally minutely and sharply toothed, the surfaces glabrous or sparsely and inconspicuously pubescent with unbranched hairs, the undersurface sometimes appearing pebbled when dry. Inflorescences terminal and sometimes also axillary, the pyramidal panicles with numerous short spikes along the ultimate branches, those of staminate plants usually with more spreading branches than those of pistillate plants. Bracts similar in texture but somewhat shorter than the sepals, papery or scalelike, glabrous. Flowers imperfect, the pistillate ones with dense, long (to 5 mm at fruiting), woolly to cobwebby hairs at the base. Sepals 5, free or rarely fused only at the very base, all similar in size and shape, 1.2–1.5 mm long, narrowly ovate, narrowed to a bluntly or sharply pointed but unawned tip, papery or scalelike, not becoming hardened after flowering, silvery white, glabrous. Staminate flowers with 5 stamens, the filaments fused toward the base, usually alternating with 5 minute, triangular teeth, sometimes a highly reduced rudimentary pistil also present. Pistillate flowers with the ovary oblong to nearly circular in outline, flattened (elliptic in cross-section), sometimes 5 highly reduced staminodes also present. Ovule 1. Style absent or very short, persistent, the stigmas 2, slender. Fruits with papery walls, 2.0–2.5 mm long, more or less circular in outline, flattened (elliptic in cross-section), more or less rounded at the tip, minutely beaked, glabrous, indehiscent, 1-seeded. Seeds 0.4–0.6 mm long, more or less globose, the surface reddish brown to black, shiny. August–October.

Scattered in the Ozark, Ozark Border, and Unglaciated Plains Divisions (eastern [mostly southeastern] U.S. west to Kansas and Texas). Bottomland forests, banks of streams and rivers, and bases of bluffs; rarely also roadsides and disturbed shaded areas.



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