Chenopodium murale L.

Jonsell, B., Karlsson, 2005, Chenopodiaceae - Fumariaceae (Chenopodium), Flora Nordica 2, pp. 4-31 : 16-17

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Chenopodium murale L.


9. Chenopodium murale L. Figs 21, L, 8

Linnaeus, Sp. pi.: 219 (1753).

- Type: Linnaean Herbarium 313.6 (LINN) lectotype, sei. by Brenan, FI. Trop. E. Africa, Chenopodiaceae: 7 (1954).

D Mur-Gåsefod. F rauniosavikka. N gatemelde. S gatmålla.

Therophyte (summer-annual). (5-) 10-60 cm. Stem subangular to angular, striped with green, hard, erect or sometimes ascending, often richly branched. Leaf-blades thin or usually fairly thick and slightly succulent, trullate to ovate or sometimes rhombic to broadly rhombic, not 3-lobed, (l-)2-6(-8) cm, dark olive-green or sometimes yellowish, usually ± sparsely farinose (young parts more densely farinose); base cuneate to truncate; apex acute to obtuse; margin usually serrate, often coarsely and irregularly so; teeth usually acute and slightly incurved. Bracts lanceolate, usually ± serrate.

Inflorescences terminal and axillary, usually leafy, divaricately branched; glomerules dense clusters, small. Flowers bisexual or sometimes female. Tepals 5, connate about halfway, distinctly keeled near the apex, green or rarely red when old (especially the keel), with narrow membranous margin and obtuse apex. Stamens 5. Stigmas 2(-3), 0.2-0.4 mm. Nut falling with the perianth; pericarp firmly adherent to the seed, strongly papillose. Seed horizontal, orbicular in outline, 1.2-1.4 mm; edge slightly to distinctly keeled; seed-coat black, strongly pitted; pits ± isodiametric. - Mid-summer to late summer.


Distribution. Nem[-BNem]. - Probably archaeophytic (but ± weakly established) in parts of D and southern S, elsewhere a more recent and largely ephemeral ballast and grain alien. - D scattered to rare on the islands and rapidly declining except perhaps in coastal urban habitats in the southeast ( Sjæ and Brn); in Jylland a rare casual, found in NJy Skagen 1968, �lborg 1963, ØJy Endelave 1906, Fredericia 1916, Randers 1975, 1978, Samsø (Onsbjerg) 1891, 1917, �rhus 1895, 1963, 1970, Vejle 19 Ì 6, 1930, N fairly many 19th century records on the southeastern coast from Ø /to VA, recent only Ak Oslo 2000 and Te Skien 1989 (grain mill); Ro Stavanger 1988 (grain mill), Ho Kvam 1947 (on ore), SF Jølster 1988 (field, probably manured with refuse from poultry farm or mill), MR Kristiansund 1866 and STSkaun 1950-51 (grain mill) and Trondheim 1948. S now very rarely seen; previously ± established in the south and on the western coast: Sk known from more than 50 places, in the 1990's still in 5 places, BhG known from 26 parishes, latest record Skaftö 1960; elsewhere a rare casual, recently recorded only from Vg Hällekis 1997-2001, Lerum 1962, Ög Norrköping 1961 and Dir Grangärde 1958. F a few casual occurrences mainly in ballast places (A, U and KP) and other loading places and railway and mill areas in V, EH and EP; in V Turku (Ruissalo) a ± persistent weed in the botanic garden; mainly brought in from more southern parts of Europe, in two cases probably with maize from America. I INo Akureyri 1946.

Mediterranean Europe, N Africa and subtropical Asia; anthropochorous elsewhere in subtropical, tropical and temperate zones; in Europe common only in the Mediterranean.

Habitat. Urban habitats: waste ground, streets, ports (formerly often with ballast), warehouse areas.

Similar taxa. Chenopodium murale is easily recognized from all other Chenopodium species on the flowers and fruits. Vegetative material may be similar to C. album (15) and C. urbicum (7), but C. murale has a more leafy inflorescence, more dentate bracts and the teeth of a leaf are more variable in size.