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Published In: Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 5(10): 143. 1894. (Mem. Torrey Bot. Club) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Cycloloma atriplicifolium (Spreng.) J.M. Coult. (winged pigweed, tumble ringwing)

Pl. 357 j, k; Map 1546

Plants annual, the taproot not tuberous-thickened. Stems 10–80 cm long, erect to loosely ascending, not succulent, not appearing jointed, much-branched, moderately to densely pubescent with woolly hairs when young, becoming nearly glabrous at maturity. Leaves alternate, well developed, not succulent, sessile to short-petiolate, shed early. Leaf blades 1–8 cm long, lanceolate to oblong or ovate, flattened in cross-section, not clasping the stem, narrowed to a sharply pointed tip, tapered at the base, the margins coarsely and irregularly wavy and/or toothed, the surfaces hairy when young, becoming glabrous at maturity. Inflorescences terminal, consisting of loose, interrupted spikes usually appearing as irregular panicles, the flowers solitary at the nodes, not sunken into the axis. Flowers perfect or pistillate, green, red, or purple. Bract 1, 3–10 mm long, linear to narrowly elliptic, the margins entire or sparsely toothed. Calyx 5-lobed to about the midpoint, persistent at fruiting, enclosing the fruit, longitudinally angled or ridged, at fruiting the entire calyx developing a prominent, continuous, papery, transverse wing with 5 shallow lobes and an otherwise irregular margin, the lobes 0.4–0.6 mm long, triangular. Stamens 5 (sometimes absent). Ovary superior. Style absent or 1 and very short, the stigmas (2)3, linear. Fruits 0.5–1.0 mm long, 2–4 mm in diameter (including the wing), circular to somewhat 5-angled in cross-section, depressed-elliptic in outline, flattened vertically, indehiscent, the wall thin and papery, glabrous. Seed adhering loosely to the fruit wall, positioned horizontally, 1.3–1.7 mm in diameter, nearly circular in outline, strongly flattened, the surface smooth, black, shiny, the embryo appearing more or less ring-shaped. 2n=36. June–October.

Scattered, mostly in counties with large rivers, nearly absent from the Ozark Division (western U.S. east to Indiana, Arkansas, and Texas; Canada, Mexico, introduced eastward to South Carolina and Massachusetts). Banks of rivers and less commonly streams, and sand prairies; also fallow fields, railroads, and open, disturbed areas, in sandy soil.

The unique equatorial wing in this species, which develops as the fruit matures, makes it one of the easiest members of the family to recognize. The plants often form dense, irregularly spherical masses that break off with age and act as tumbleweeds, dispersing fruits as the wind blows them across the substrate. The wing of the fruit presumably also aids in dispersal by wind, although it also helps the fruit to float during floods.



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