Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Caryophyllidae
Order Caryophyllales
Family Amaranthaceae
Genus Froelichia
Species Froelichia floridana

Date: XXXXXXXX 2015. Location: Ciha Fen Preserve (map)


Scientific Name: Froelichia floridana

Common Name: Cottonweed, plains snakecotton

Origin: Native

Notes: Only two species in the genus Froelichia have been reported in Iowa. These are F. floridana, and F. gracilis. Eilers and Roosa indicate that F. floridana is common and F. gracilis is rare in Iowa. The common species tends to be single stemmed and is found in sandy soils and open prairies. The rare form, usually found near RR tracks, has multiple stems arising from a single taproot. Identification is made difficult because the common species, F. floridana, sometimes exhibits very similar morphology to the rare species. Such is the case for the plant shown here. The expected morphology for the two species can be compared in this illustration by the FNA.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: floral spikes cottony, terminal pyrimidal; flowers basely attached to a bract and enclosed in 2 bracteoles; perianth tubular with 5 lobes, filaments fused into a tube with 5 lobes (pseudo-staminoids); fruit a two winged indehiscent utricle with basal tubercles; one seed per fruit.

Leaves: opposite, lanceolate/oblong primarily on lower third of plant; adaxially (upper) surface canescent, lower surface sericeous

Glossaries of botanical terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

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