Chenopodium murale, L.

Brenan, J. P. M, 1954, Chenopodiaceae (part: Chenopodium), Flora of Tropical East Africa 12, pp. 2-14 : 8

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Chenopodium murale


3. C. murale L. View in CoL ,

Sp. PL 219 (1753); Bak. & C. B. Cl. in E.T.A. 6 (1): 78 (1909); Aellen in F R. 24: 343 (1928).

Type: presumably from Europe, Herb. Linnaeus (LINN, lecto.!)

Annual up to 90 cm. high, upright or spreading, normally much branched, green, rarely red-tinged, mealy especially on young parts but rarely densely so. Leaves variable, commonly rhombic-ovate, rarely narrower, about 1 *5-9 cm. long and 0*8-5 (-7) cm, wide, without any tendency for especially prominent basal lobes, but with several coarse irregular ascending usually sharp teeth (about 5-15 teeth on each margin, rarely fewer). Inflore cences leafy, composed of divaricately branched cymes up to 5 cm. long, terminal and from upper axils. Flowers greenish, minute, about 1-1-5 mm. in diameter. Sepals 5, papillose on margins and outside, each with a blunt raised green keel towards apex only. Stamens 5. Pericarp veiy difficult to detach from seed. Seeds (Fig. 2/3, p. 3) black, somewhat shining, 1-2- 1*5 mm. in diameter, acutely keeled; testa under microscope marked with very close minute rounded pits.

Kenya. Naivasha District: Gilgil R., Dec.,Scott Elliot 6571! and Kedong, Mt. Margaret, June 1940, Bally 911a (mixed with 911)!; Nairobi, Marlborough Estate, Sept. 1939, Bally 114 in CM. 11325!

Tanganyika. Masai District: 01 Doinyo Sambu, Feb. 1926,Haarer B. 156!; Moshi District: 01 Molog, 2 July 1945,Greenway 7520!; Hpwapwa, 3 Mar. 1931, Hornby 381!

Distb. K3, 4; T2, 5; a cosmopolitan weed

Hab. A weed of crops, old cultivations and pasture land; 1070-1950 m.

Syn.? C. longidjawense A. Peter , F.D.O.-A. 2: 204 & 22, t. 26, fig. 1 (1932 & 1938)., Type: Tanganyika, Arusha District, Lengijawe, 1850-1880 m., Peter 42635 \l (B, holo. †)

Variation. C. murale is decidedly variable in size, habit and leaves, often doubtless due to habitat. Dr. Aellen has determined Haarer B. 156 (K!) as C. murale var. spissidentatum Murr in Mag. Bot. Lapok 2: 11, t. 8, fig. 32 (1903) ( C. murale f. spissidentatum (Murr) Aell. in Verh. Naturf. Gesellsch. Basel 41: 87 (1930). This represents a form with the teeth on the leaves rather more numerous, closer and more prominent than usual, but the difference is at best but slight and can readily be matched in Europe. For the present it is preferably considered, with other comparable extremes known, elsewhere but lacking any geographical correlation, which will very probably turn up in our area, as falling within the normal range of variation, of C. murale .

In spite of its Latin name, in Africa as in England, it is no use searching for C. murale on walls.

C. longidjawense A. Peter is probably C. murale , but the type being no longer extant, there is an element of doubt. The hairs on some of the anthers, noted by Peter, are probably fungal.

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