Tidestromia lanuginosa (Nutt.) Standl.  
Family: Amaranthaceae
woolly tidestromia,  more...
[Achyranthes lanuginosa T.Nuttall,  more]
Tidestromia lanuginosa image
Liz Makings  
Herbs, annual, yellowish green to gray-green or rarely reddish, to 50 cm, canescent, lanuginose, or glabrous; trichomes completely candelabriform. Stems ascending, decumbent, or prostrate, herbaceous, buds absent on stem bases. Leaves: petiole to 2.5 cm; blade gray-green, widely obovate, ovate-trullate, circular, or lanceolate, 0.8-3.2 × 0.9-3 cm, chartaceous to fleshy, base attenuate or oblique. Inflorescences 1-3-flowered; involucral leaf petiole to 0.6 cm, blade ovate, obovate, lanceolate, or transversely elliptic, 0.3-4 × 0.2-3.1 cm, chartaceous to fleshy, base attenuate or oblique, apex acute to obtuse; involucres on secondary branches formed by connation of involucral leaf petioles, which become indurate and adnate with stems or with leaf petiole and stems; bracts widely ovate, 1-1.6 × 0.8-1 mm, apex obtuse, distinctly lanuginose; bracteoles 1-1.5 × 0.6-0.8 mm, apex obtuse, distinctly lanuginose distally. Flowers 1.5-3 mm; tepals yellowish, 1.1-3 × 0.7-1.2 mm, glabrous or lanuginose; staminal cup 0.5-1 mm; filaments 0.5-1.4 mm; anthers 0.7-1.1 mm; pseudostaminodes absent or short-triangular lobes, 0.2 mm; ovary 0.3-0.8 × 0.5-0.7 mm; style to 0.1 mm; stigmas 0.1-0.3 mm. Utricles 1.3-1.6 × 1-1.3 mm. Seeds brown-red, 1.1-1.4 × 0.7-1.2 mm. Flowering spring-fall or late winter-fall. Primary and disturbed vegetation, riparian forests, pinyon-juniper woodlands, desert scrub, creosote bush scrub, mesquite-yucca communities, grasslands, coastal dunes, beaches, roadsides, fields, in basalt deposits, limestone, gypseous, calcareous, alluvial, rocky, volcanic, gravelly, sandy, silty, muddy, and clayey soils; 0-2100 m; Ariz., Calif., Colo., Ill., Kans., La., Mo., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas); West Indies (Dominican Republic). Tidestromia lanuginosa shows wide variation; two subspecies can be recognized primarily on the basis of pollen and trichome features (I. Sánchez del Pino and H. Flores Olvera 2002). The trichomes are typically candelabriform with more or less regular branches. In some parts of the plants, the terminal cells of the trichomes have a much greater number of irregular and enlarged branches. The distribution of secondary branches has taxonomic importance if infrataxa are recognized: subsp. lanuginosa has trichomes with the terminal cell projections irregular only; subsp. eliassoniana has trichomes with the terminal cell projections either irregular or spreading (I. Sánchez del Pino and H. Flores Olvera 2002). Subspecies lanuginosa flowers over a longer season than subsp. eliassoniana, and it occurs from central United States to northern Mexico and the West Indies, whereas subsp. eliassoniana occurs from southwestern United States to northwestern Mexico.

Plant: Annual forb 10-20 cm; stems procumbent to prostrate, radiating from the root; stems reddish, herbage with branched hairs making leaves appear whitish Leaves: leaves (opposite) broadly ovate to spatulate 1-2 cm across, upper << lower; young terminal leaves white-gray, tomentose-canescent, hairs short, much-branched, wearing off, older leaves green above, more whitish below INFLORESCENCE: cymes, clusters of 1-5 flowers, axillary, sessile, subtended and ± enclosed by involucres of 2-3 bract-like leaves that become hardened; bracts scarious Flowers: flowers yellow, in small axillary clusters, bisexual; sepals 5, 1.8-2.6 mm, 1-veined, glabrous inside, sometimes canescent outside, reflexed, inner scarious-margined; filament tube 0.3-0.4 mm, free filaments 0.6-1.6 mm; ovary spheric, style 1, short, stigma head-like or 2-lobed Fruit: a compressed utricle, indehiscent; wall membranous; Seed obovoid, brown Misc: Slopes; ± 1200 m; Jul-Oct References: J.C. Hickman, ed. The Jepson Manual.W.B. McDougal. Seed plants of Northern Arizona. ASU specimens.
A branching, prostrate or decumbent annual native to w. U.S., with broadly ovate to orbicular lvs 1-3 cm subtending small, axillary glomerules of small fls, is occasionally found in waste places along our w. border.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Liz Makings  
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Max Licher  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Sue D. Carnahan  
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Sue D. Carnahan  
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Stephanie Harvey  
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Stephanie Harvey  
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Stephanie Harvey  
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Stephanie Harvey  
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Liz Makings  
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