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Published In: Methodus Plantas Horti Botanici et Agri Marburgensis, a staminum situ describendi 50. 1794. (4 May 1794) (Methodus) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/4/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/6/2009)


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3. Froelichia Moench (cottonweed, snake-cotton)

Plants annual (perennial herbs elsewhere), but with the taproot sometimes appearing somewhat woody. Aerial stems erect or strongly ascending, somewhat angled, densely pubescent with unbranched, usually woolly hairs, especially the nodes often appearing cobwebby, the hairs becoming shorter near the tip, occasionally also somewhat sticky. Leaves opposite, positioned mostly below the stem midpoint, sessile or nearly so. Leaf blades 5–14 cm long, somewhat thickened or leathery, linear to narrowly oblong-lanceolate or narrowly oblanceolate, narrowed or tapered at the base, narrowed or tapered to a sharply or bluntly pointed tip, the margins entire, the upper surface densely pubescent with silky or woolly hairs but frequently becoming nearly glabrous at maturity, the undersurface densely persistently pubescent with woolly hairs. Inflorescences terminal, narrow panicles with pairs of dense spikes ascending from the nodes of the main axis, these sometimes reduced to short, dense clusters and the inflorescence then appearing as an interrupted spike, the lateral branches often terminating in simple spikes. Bracts similar in texture but much shorter than the sepals, broadly ovate, papery or scalelike, glabrous. Flowers perfect. Sepals 5, fused most of their length into a persistent, conical to flask-shaped, papery tube, this becoming somewhat hardened and developing winglike longitudinal ridges or rows of spines and also basal tubercles after flowering, white to yellowish white, densely pubescent with woolly hairs, the lobes 1–2 mm long, oblong to lanceolate, bluntly to sharply pointed, greenish white, sometimes pinkish-tinged, more or less glabrous. Stamens 5, the filaments fused nearly their entire length, persistent, the anthers appearing sessile in the sinuses between 5 short, strap-shaped lobes. Ovary ovoid. Ovule 1. Style well developed, persistent, the stigma 1, capitate. Fruits shorter than and hidden within the persistent calyx and anther tubes, with membranous walls, ovoid, glabrous, indehiscent, 1-seeded. Seeds somewhat flattened, circular or nearly so in outline, the surface shiny. Twelve to 20 species, U.S. and adjacent Canada to South America, Caribbean Islands.

To observe the crests and tubercles on the fruiting calyx, it is necessary to first remove the thick woolly covering of hair.


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1 1.Calyx tube at fruiting (4.5–)5.0–6.0 mm long, flask-shaped, symmetric at the tip, with deeply toothed longitudinal wings, the basal tubercles blunt; blades of largest leaves (5–)10–30 mm wide ... 1. F. FLORIDANA

Froelichia floridana
2 1.Calyx tube at fruiting 3.5–4.5 mm long, flask-shaped to more commonly conical, asymmetric at the tip, with longitudinal rows of individual short spines, the basal tubercles often also spiny; blades of largest leaves 5–10(–15 mm) wide ... 2. F. GRACILIS Froelichia gracilis
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