Common Names in English:
Drummond's Snake-Cotton, Drummond´s Snake-Cotton, Drummond's Snakecotton, Drummonds Snakecotton, Snake Cotton
, or lianas. Leaves alternate or opposite, entire, exstipulate
. Flowers small, bisexual
, or sterile
and reduced, subtended by 1 membranous bract and 2 bracteoles, solitary or aggregated in cymes. Inflorescences elongated or condensed spikes (heads
, or thyrsoid
structures of varying complexity. Bracteoles membranous or scarious
. Tepals 3-5, membranous, scarious or subleathery, 1-, 3-, 5-, or 7(-23) -veined. Stamens as many as tepals and opposite these, rarely fewer than tepals; filaments
into a cup
or ± entirely into a tube
, filament lobes present or absent, pseudostaminodes present or absent; anthers
(1- or) 2-loculed, dorsifixed
, introrsely dehiscent
. Ovary superior, 1-loculed; ovules 1 to many; style persistent
, short and indistinct or long and slender; stigma capitate, penicillate
, 2-lobed or forming 2 filiform
branches. Fruit a dry utricle or a fleshy
capsule, indehiscent, irregularly bursting, or circumscissile. Seeds lenticular
, subglobose, or shortly cylindric
About 70 genera and 900 species: worldwide; 15 genera (one introduced ) and 44 species (three endemic, 14 introduced) in China.
Morphology of the androecium, perianth (tepals), and the inflorescence has traditionally been used to circumscribe genera and tribes . Pseudostaminodia are interstaminal appendages with variously shaped apices. Filament appendages are the lateral appendages of filaments (one on each side) . The basic structure of the inflorescence is the cyme (branchlets arising from the bracteole axils, the bracteoles serving as bracts for upper flowers), which can be reduced to one flower with two bracteoles and a bract. Units of dispersal vary considerably (capsules opening with lower part persistent, flower and bracteoles falling together, or cymose partial inflorescences breaking off above bract) and can be characteristic for genera. Several genera possess long trichomes serving dispersal at the base of the tepals.
. Stems erect
to much-branched, sometimes broomlike, usually richly pubescent
. Leaves opposite, sessile or short-petiolate, most abundant on proximal
1/2 of plant; blade
, lanceolate, oblanceolate
, or orbiculate, fulvous
entire, usually pubescent. Inflorescences terminal
, erect, pedunculate
, mostly compound
, usually elongate
, or rounded
and headlike; rachis consisting of spirally arranged
bracts that adaxially subtend
imbricate bracteoles enclosing and falling with the flowers, silky
. Flowers bisexual
; tepals 5, connate
at least to middle
lanceolate to acute; tube 2-lipped, 5-lobed, surpassing
, becoming indurate
in fruit and developing lateral
and, in some species, facial tubercles
or spines; stamens 5; filaments
connate into cylindric
to flask-shaped, 5-lobed tube, lobes (pseudostaminodes) with margins entire or shallowly notched
, apex blunt
to acute; anthers
attached at sinuses, 2-locular; ovule 1; style 1, short or elongate, shorter than staminal
tube; stigmas sessile, minutely 2-fid to capitate or penicillate
. Utricles enclosed by indurate perianth tube, ovoid
or flask-shaped, membranaceous
, indehiscent. Seeds 1, obovoid
, germinating while enclosed by perianth tube. x = 8.
Species ca. 16: temperate and tropical regions of the Western Hemisphere.
Froelichia is most abundant in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, the plains of southern Texas and Florida in North America, and the grasslands of South America, particularly eastern Paraguay and southern Brazil. Two species (F. lanigera Andersson, F. nudicaulis Hooker f.) are endemic to the Galapagos Islands.
Froelichia is divided into sect. Hoplotheca (Nuttall) Moquin-Tandon, with stigmas interpreted as being capitate (the capitate form is derived from a bifid structure), and sect. Dilopha Moquin-Tandon, with penicillate stigmas. Section Dilopha is restricted to South America; sect. Hoplotheca to North America and South America.
Evolutionarily there are two principle clades occuring across North America. One clade comprises the perennial Froelichia interrupta comprised of three varieties occuring south through most of Mexico to Nicaragua. Morphologically the group is distinguished by plants with relatively sparsely flowered inflorescences with the flowers arranged in a 3-ranked spriral. The pseudostaminodes are short and exhibit a blunt apex. The second clade occurs to the north and comprises a mix of annual and perennial species, including the taxa described here and F. "xantusii" R. A. McCauley, which is endemic to southern Baja California.
Froelichia is probably best known as a roadside weed because it thrives in occasionally disturbed environments with little competition . It is also a common member of coastal pine areas, particularly along the Gulf Coast. The plants are pioneers in disturbed sandy soils, can become agricultural pests in rare instances, and form large patches in fallow fields or pastures. Introduction of Froelichia has occurred throughout much of the United States (F. gracilis) ; F. floridana is naturalized in Queensland, Australia, most likely from contaminated seed in the mid-1950s.
Confusion in the identity of Froelichia species has been due in large part to the over-reliance on variable characters, principally the nature of the lateral wings on the mature perianth. Recent revisionary work (R. A. McCauley 2002) has served to identify more stable characters for identification and has led to recircumscriptions of the geographic ranges of the species.
Species Froelichia drummondii
semi-woody. Stems 1-several,
, sometimes procum-bent, simple
or sparsely branched
or above, stout, to 12 dm, puberulent
, grayish hairs
. Leaves principally on proximal
1/3 of stem, petiolate
broadly lanceolate to orbiculate, largest
leaves 6.2-12(-16.5) × 1.3-3.8 cm, base attenuate to cuneate,
to acute, canescent
to subscabrous adaxially, sparsely
sericeous-tomentose abaxially. Spikes dense, much-branched,
apex often pyramidal
, flowers arranged in 5-ranked spiral
or blackish, glabrous
or sparsely pubescent
Flowers 3.5-5.4 mm; perianth lobes
lobes slightly or not at all recurved distally, brownish
(often observed as brown flower tips), apex blunt
flask-shaped, 4.2-5 × 2.5-5 mm, with irregularly dentate
, both surfaces of perianth with distinct
spines or tubercles
Froelichia drummondii has generally included robust plants with typically obtuse leaf apices, here assigned to F. floridana, from southern Oklahoma through central and southern Texas, and perennial plants treated here as F. interrupta var. cordata. Due to this broader species circumscription, most specimens in American herbaria are not correctly assigned. My field and herbarium studies have indicated that an interpretation of this taxon as restricted to the plains of south Texas probably most closely follows the original circumscription by Moquin-Tandon, and thus it is provisionally recognized here at the species level. [source]
Froelichia drummondii is intermediate between F. interrupta and F. floridana, and it is intermediate in the transition from perennial to annual species in the genus. Designation as a variety of F. floridana, as has been done by recent authors , could be supported, but the shorter and darker filament lobes unique to the perennial taxa, a tendency toward shorter flowers, and the restricted range strongly support its recognition as a separate species. Further taxonomic work may verify the distinctiveness and relationship of this taxon to the remainder of the genus, particularly to F. floridana. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
Open sand plains , edges of oak woods , roadsides.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Perleb, 1826
- Adanson, 1763 ex A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons.
- amaranthes, pigweed
- Subfamily: Gomphrenoideae ()
- Family: Amaranthaceae () - Adanson, 1763 ex A.L. de Jussieu, 1789, nom. cons. - amaranthes, pigweed
- Suborder: Chenopodiineae ()
- Order: Caryophyllales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Caryophyllanae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Subclass: Caryophyllidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Froelichia floridana (Nutt.) Moq. Var. drummondii (Moq.) Uline & W. L. Bray • Froelichia floridana (Nutt.) Moq. var. drummondii (Moq.) Uline & W.L.Bray • Froelichia floridana (Nuttall) Moquin-Tandon Var. drummondii (Moquin-Tandon) Uline & W. L. Bray
Publishing author : Moq. Publication : Prodr. (DC.) 13(2): 421 1849 [5 May 1849]
Members of the genus Froelichia
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 8 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
F. arizonica (Arizona Snake-Cotton) · F. drummondii (Drummond's Snake-Cotton) · F. floridana (Cottonweed) · F. floridana var. campestris (Plains Snakecotton) · F. floridana var. floridana (Plains Snakecotton) · F. gracilis (Slender Cottonweed) · F. interrupta (Texas Snake-Cotton) · F. latifolia (Broadleaf Snake Cotton)
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- Phytologia. Bronx Park, New York, H.A. Gleason and H.N. Moldenke, url p. 11.
- Kuan Ke-chien. 1979. Amaranthaceae. In: Kung Hsien-wu & Tsien Cho-po, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 25(2): 194241.
- Kolli, S. 1967. Biochemical and Floral Anatomical Studies in the Genus Froelichia (Amaranthaceae). Ph.D. thesis. Catholic University of America.
- McCauley, R. A. 2002. Systematics of the genus Froelichia in North America (Amaranthaceae subfamily Gomphrenoideae). Ph.D. thesis. Ohio University.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 11, 2012.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 19, 2007:
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2646953
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-20798
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13740659
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:60315-1
- GRIN Nomen Number: 452325
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 20798
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 106088-2
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: PDAMA0A030
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: FRDR
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 39933
- Bojian Bao, Thomas Borsch & Steven E. Clemants "Amaranthaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 415. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Ross A. McCauley "Froelichia". in Flora of North America Vol. 4 Page 406, 443, 444. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Froelichia drummondii". in Flora of North America Vol. 4 Page 446. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]