Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs (rarely arborescent), glabrous or variably pubescent, occasionally glandular. Leaves alternate or opposite, simple, often fleshy, sometimes much reduced. Inflorescence cymose, paniculate, or of solitary axillary flowers. Flowers small, usually greenish, bisexual or unisexual; perianth segments (tepals) 1–5, in one whorl, or sometimes lacking; stamens equal to or fewer than tepals; ovary superior or semi-inferior (Beta), unilocular, with 2–3 carpels, stigmas 2 or 3. Fruit a nut, berry or utricle with membranous, hardened or succulent pericarp; perianth or bracteoles often enlarged in fruit and developing spines, wings or tubercles; seed often lenticular, testa membranous to crustaceous.

Over 100 genera and 1500 species, cosmopolitan, many halophytic; 26 genera and c. 325 species in Australia (c. 120 species in Victoria).

Recent molecular studies suggest that some generic rearrangements are warranted and that the fruit types (e.g. spiny, fleshy, winged) that define many Australian genera are a result of convergent evolution and mask deeper underlying relatinships. Some new combinations exist, but until there is wide acceptance of new generic circumscription, we retain 'old' concepts here.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2015-05-07
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-10-05
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life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus Atriplex
genus Bassia
genus Beta
genus Chenopodium
genus Cycloloma
genus Dissocarpus
genus Dysphania
genus Einadia
genus Enchylaena
genus Eriochiton
genus Maireana
genus Malacocera
genus Neobassia
genus Osteocarpum
genus Rhagodia
genus Salsola
genus Scleroblitum
genus Sclerolaena
genus Suaeda
genus Tecticornia
genus Threlkeldia