SPECIES DESCRIPTION
CHENOPODIASTRUM MURALE       

Family:- Amaranthaceae

Common Name:- Nettle-leaved goosefoot

Synonyms:- Anserina muralis, Atriplex muralis, Chenopodium murale.

Meaning:- Chenopodiastrum (Gr) Goose-foot.
                  Murale (L) Growing on walls, of the walls.

General description:- Herbaceous annual.

Stems:-
   a) (3-) 10-90 cm.
   b) usually erect.
   c) often much-branched at the base.
   d)  branches between spreading and erect (erecto-patent).
   e) lowermost subopposite.
   f) yellowish to green-striate, rarely tinged red.

Leaves:-
   a) 1-8(-I0) cm long.
   b) uppermost, lanceolate, sometimes entire.
   c) blade longer than or equalling the stalk (petiole), thin to somewhat fleshy, 
       broadly triangular-ovate to rhombic, coarsely toothed (dentate) with slightly
       incurved teeth, gradually narrowing (attenuate) to ending abruptly (truncate)
       at the base, acute to obtuse.
   d) olive-green, yellowish or tinged reddish, with a powdery covering (farinose);

Flowers:-
1) Inflorescences:
   a) terminal and axillary.
   b) mostly leafy.
   c) densely branching, (divaricately branched); branches short, with small,  
       densely arranged in a cluster of stemless flowers (glomerules).
2) Flowers:
   a) hermaphrodite, sometimes female.
3) Perianth segments:
   a) 5.
   b) united (connate) below the middle, prominently keeled near the apex,
   c) vesicular-hairy.
   d) green or turning red, persistent.
4) Stamens:
   a) 5.
5) Stigmas
   a) 2.
6) Pericarp:
   a) prominently papillose.
   b) firmly adherent.
 
Fruit:-
1) Seed:
   a) 1.2-1.4 mm.
   b) horizontal, roundish-lenticular, acutely keeled at the edges.
   c) black.
   d) testa with conspicuous non-elongated pits.

Key features:-
1) Plant not smelling strongly of decaying fish.
2) Leaves often dentate or lobed, not at all 3-lobed.
3) Seeds with acute margins.
4) Testa with minute, very close, rounded pits.
5) Perianth segments with a prominent green or red dorsal swelling near the apex.
6) Pericarp firmly adherent.

Habitat:- Weed of gardens, ruderal habitats, ditches, streambanks and open
woodland. 0-400(-1000) m.

Distribution:- Throughout Greece, mainly in coastal areas, possibly native to the
Mediterranean region and SW Asia, now almost a cosmopolitan weed. On Crete
widely scattered around the coastal regions.

Flowering time:- Mar-Nov.

Photos by:- Zacharias Angourakis