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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/25/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/25/2013)
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 219. 1753.
Synonym Chenopodium anthelminticum L. Sp. P1. 220. 1753. Atriplex ambrosioides Crantz, Inst. 1:207. 1766. Atriplex anthelmintica Crantz, loc. cit. 1:207. 1766. Chenopodium suffruticosum Willd. Enum. 290. 1809. Chenopodium spathulatum Sieber, Fl. Martin. 92. 1825. Chenopodium santa-maria Vell. Fl. Flum. 126. 1825. Chenopodium chilense Schrad. Ind. Sem. Hort. Gotting. 1832 :2. 1832. non Pers. 1805. Orthosporum ambrosioides Kostel. Allg. Med.-Pharm. Fl. 1433. 1835. Orthosporum suffruticosum Kostel. loc. cit. 1433. 1835. Ambrina chilensis Spach, Hist. Veg. 5:297. 1836. Ambrina ambrosioides Spach, loc. cit. 5:297. 1836. Ambrina anthelmintica Spach, loc. cit. 5:298. 1836. Roubieva anthelmintica H. & A. Bot. Beech. Voy. 387. 1840. Chenopodium retusum Juss. ex Moq. in DC. Prodr. 13 2:73. 1849. Chenopodium obovatum Moq. loc. cit. 132:73. 1849. Ambrina denudata Phil. in Linnaea 29:37. 1856. Chenopodium ambrosioides anthelminticum A. Gray, Manual 2:364. 1856. Ambrina andicola Phil. in Anal. Univ. Sant. 91:442. 1895. Cbenopodium querciforme Murr, in Mag. Bot. Lap. 3:37. 1904. Blitum amnbrosioides G. Beck, in Reichenb. Ic. Fl. Germ. 24:118. 1908. Botrys ambrosioides Nieuwl. in Am. Midl. Nat. 3:275. 1914. Botrys anthelmintica Nieuwl. loc. cit. 3:275. 1914. Chenopodium vagans Standl. in N. Am. Fl. 21:26. 1916.
Reference Aellen Am. Midl. Nat. 30:51. 1943.
Description Erect or ascending ill-scented perennials to as much as 15 dm. high, the branches ascending, usually multisulcate, bicolored, often lignescent, glabrous to tomentulose or villose about the inflorescence. Leaves yellowish green, puberulent, villosulous or glabrate, glandular, with amber-colored secretions, lanceolate to rhomb-elliptic, entire to coarsely and irregularly sinuate-dentate or sinuate- pinnatifid, apically acute, basally attenuate, 2-12.5 cm. long, 0.5-5.5 cm. broad. Flowers sessile, usually in dense glomerules, these contiguous or not and paniculately disposed, interspersed with reduced or rather large leaves, the rhachises glandular and villosulous to glabrate. Sepals (3-) 5, subequal, narrowly ovate, cucullate, very slightly carinate if at all, connate for about one third their length, ca. 1 mm. long; stamens (3-) 5, the flattened filaments about as long as the sepals, the anthers orbicular, slightly exserted; ovary subglobose, the sessile or subsessile stigmata spreading, irregularly glandular. Utricle completely embraced by the sepals, the seed lenticular-cochleate, smooth, lustrous, reddish-brown, 0.6-0.8 mm. broad, horizontal and vertical, loosely embraced by the pericarp.
Distribution A cosmopolitan weed, perhaps indigenous in Mexico and Central America.
Specimen CHIRIQUi: Alto Lino, 4200 ft., Bro. Maurice 882. PANAMA: Juan Diaz, Standley 30529.
Note Polymorphically perplexing, this species, or some of its subspecies, varieties or forms, is quite cosmopolitan. Colloquial names applied to the wormseed in Central America are almost as numerous as the Latin names. In Panama only the name "paico" has been encountered. The plant is used medicinally as a vermifuge, a poultice and reputedly even as a soporific; it is also used as a culinary flavoring.
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