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Neokochia americana
Neokochia americana

Neokochia americana. Synonyms: Kochia americana, Bassia americana. (Green Molly)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth)
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Grasslands, openings,  Spring.
Lower Cross Canyon, Utah, May 5, 2013.

Neokochia americana grows to 20 inches tall with clusters of fleshy, usually hairy leaves giving the plant an overall soft and pleasant appearance. Flowers are minute and may be single or 2-5 in tight clusters tucked into leaf axils with no peduncle. The plant grows in open, often barren areas so it is easily picked out.

Sereno Watson collected this plant for science in 1869 in Utah. He named it Kochia americana. It was renamed Neokochia americana by Chu and Sanderson in 2009. Wilhelm Koch was an early 19th century German botanist.

Neokochia americana

Neokochia americana. Synonyms: Kochia americana, Bassia americana. (Green Molly)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth),
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Grasslands, openings,  Spring.
Lower Cross Canyon, Utah, May 5, 2013.

Flowers are minute (1+ millimeters), light to dark green, solitary or in clusters of 2-5, and very hairy.

Neokochia americana

Neokochia americana. Synonyms: Kochia americana, Bassia americana. (Green Molly)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth),
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Grasslands, openings,  Spring.
Lower Cross Canyon, Utah, May 17, 2015.

Flowers mature to glowing yellow spheres enclosed within the calyx and dotting the green leaves. As the fruit matures, the calyx develops 5 horizontal, flat wings. Almost none of the maturing fruit shown at left have developed the winged calyces, but I did manage to find one:   Neokochia americana

 

                                                                

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Neokochia americana

Range map for Neokochia americana