Chenopodium vulvaria L.

Jonsell, B., Karlsson, 2005, Chenopodiaceae - Fumariaceae (Chenopodium), Flora Nordica 2, pp. 4-31 : 18

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Chenopodium vulvaria L.


11. Chenopodium vulvaria L. Figs 2K, 9B

Linnaeus, Sp. pi.: 220 (1753).

- Type: Linnaean Herbarium 313.18 (LINN) lectotype, sei. by Jafri & Rateeb, FI. Libya 58: 15 (1978).

D Stinkende Gåsefod. F haisusavikka. N sildemelde.

S stinkmålla.

Literature. Nilsson & Gustafsson 1982.

Therophyte (summer-annual). (5-)10-30(-40) cm, conspicuously grey-farinose, not tinged with red, stinking (smell sometimes perceptible even in several decades old herbarium specimens if moistened and rubbed). Stem subterete, hard, erect to procumbent, usually richly branched; lower branches subopposite, prostrate to ascending, usually longer than the stem, to 50 cm. Leaves with petiole c. 2/3 as long as the blade; blade ovate to broadly trullate or broadly ovate (especially larger leaves with a distinct angle on each margin at the widest point), 0.5-4(-5) cm, sometimes wider than long; base cuneate to truncate; apex obtuse or sometimes acute; margin entire. Bracts similar to the leaves but smaller and narrower.

Inflorescences terminal and axillary, small, composed of ebracteate, lax, short panicles. Flowers bisexual or lateral ones often female. Tepals 5, connate to 1/2 to c. 2/3, very densely farinose, slightly keeled; margin ± herbaceous; apex obtuse. Stamens 5 (if present). Stigmas 2, 0.4-0.6 mm. Nut falling with the perianth; pericarp not adherent to the seed. Seed horizontal, orbicular in outline, 1-1.2 mm; edge rounded; seed-coat brownish black, glossy, almost smooth except for faint radial striae. - Late summer to autumn.

2n=18 (S Sk). - [2n=18] .

Distribution. Established and possibly archaeophytic at least in S Sk, but mainly casual, brought in with e.g. grain, ballast, ore and cork. - D probably not established; ØJy Randers 1966, �rhus 1895, 1963, FyL Odense 1960, Sjæ Pedersborg (with cork from Morocco, several records 1955-66), Hagesholm 1967-68, København area, latest 1989 (regular 1843-1893), LFM Nykøbing 1927, 1956, Brn several localities

1863-90 (with ballast). N casual in the south, before 1910 in ballast places in 0/Fredrikstad 1882,1891, Ak Oslo several records 1854-1905, Vf Larvik 1892, Te Bamble 1857, AA Arendal 1906, VA Mandal 1826, 1881-82, MR Kristiansund 1865, 1868; later only Ak Oslo 1925 (grain mill) and Ho Kvam 1954 (on chromium ore from Turkey). S established at least in Sk, particularly in towns at the western and southern coasts (but in the 1990's only present in Falsterbo and Skanör) and on seashores in the northwest (Hov and Västra Karup at least 1948-50), and Bl (established town weed in Karlshamn 1859-91); elsewhere usually ephemeral, but locally persistent in Ög Mjölby 1942-61 (railway station) and Upl Uppsala 1818- 1952; most recently Upl Stockholm 1984 (port); north of Sk and Bl mainly with ballast, in Vg Västra Tunhem 1958 and Dir Stora Tuna 1931-35 with manganese ore. F old records (before 1925, mainly with ballast) from A Mariehamn, V Turku, Uusikaupunki, U Porvoo, EP Vaasa, KP Kokkola, OP Oulu; later only V Turku 1952 (probably with oats from Algeria) and U Helsinki 1940 (with cork from Morocco).

Europe (but very rare in the northwest, north and east), N Africa, SW and S Central Asia.

Habitat. In S Sk partly towns (especially on cobbled streets), partly seashores (mainly on drift); elsewhere casual on waste ground at factories, ports, mills and tips.

Variation. Specimens from ballast areas, and from localities with established occurrence, are usually small and procumbent, have small leaf-blades which are rounded at their widest point, and flower and set seed regularly. Possibly these features were genetically controlled adaptations to trampled environments. Specimens from mills and tips, especially in the north, are often tall, have larger and more distinctly angular leaf-blades, and they flower later.

Similar taxa. Chenopodium vulvaria is similar to C. karoi , C. mucronatum and C. sosnowskyi (rare casuals).