Froelichia Moench
  • Methodus 50. 1794. (4 May 1794)
  • Cottonweed, snake-cotton [for Joseph Aloys von Froelich, 1766-1841, German physician and botanist who published on Sonchus, Hieracium, and Gentiana]

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2020): Froelichia Moench. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 26 May 2020'

General Information


Froelichia interrupta (L.) Moq. in A. DC., Prodr. 13(2): 421. 1849; Gomphrena interrupta L.

Hierbas o subarbustos, perennes, 0.4–0.9 m de alto, tallos ascendentes o erectos, tallos y ramas más o menos densamente lanosos con tricomas simples y delgados de 2.5–3 mm de largo; hermafroditas. Hojas opuestas, ampliamente lanceoladas u ovadas, 3.5–6.5 cm de largo y 1.5–4 cm de ancho, generalmente con una punta triangular angosta en el ápice, cuneadas o atenuadas en la base y angostamente decurrentes sobre el pecíolo, densamente pubescentes con tricomas simples y delgados de ca 1 mm de largo en la haz y de ca 2 mm de largo en el envés; pecioladas. Inflorescencia una estructura una vez ramificada, 6–10 cm de largo, con 1 espiga terminal y 2–6 pares de espigas laterales, flores solitarias en espigas de 2–5 cm de largo, bráctea ampliamente redondeado-triangular, subamplexicaule, 1.4–2.2 mm de largo, acuminada en el ápice, glabra, bractéolas ligeramente más cortas que la flor, ampliamente ovadas, sacciformes, traslapadas lateralmente, 2.9–3.6 mm de largo, profundamente hendidas en el ápice, cresta ausente, glabras; tépalos 5, angostamente oblongos, iguales, 3.6–4.2 mm de largo, obtusos o truncados en el ápice, fusionados en un tubo por más del 50% con 2 alas subenteras y rígidas en la madurez de 0.7–0.9 mm de ancho, membranáceos, hialinos apicalmente, endurecidos en la madurez, con un indumento denso de tricomas simples y ondulados de hasta 4 mm de largo, 3-nervios; estambres 5, filamentos 3.2–3.8 mm de largo, unidos casi completamente en un tubo, anteras uniloculares, ca 0.6 mm de largo; pseudoestaminodios angostamente oblongos, 0.4–0.7 mm de largo, obtusos en el ápice, más largos que las anteras; ovario 1-ovulado, estilo ca 1 mm de largo, estigma compuesto de 2 partes disciformes peniciladas. Fruto un utrículo subgloboso, membranáceo e indehiscente; semilla gruesamente lenticular, sin arilo, flor cayendo junto con las bractéolas en la madurez.

Rara, afloramientos rocosos en bosques de pinos, zona norcentral; 700–1200 m; fl y fr may–oct; Sandino 2990, Stevens 3099; Estados Unidos (Texas) a México, Nicaragua, Colombia a Chile y Paraguay, también en las Antillas. El género comprende ca 10 especies distribuidas en las regiones templadas y tropicales desde los Estados Unidos hasta Paraguay y Argentina.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora de Nicaragua
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Herbs [shrubs], annual or perennial. Stems erect or procumbent, simple to much-branched, sometimes broomlike, usually richly pubescent. Leaves opposite, sessile or short-petiolate, most abundant on proximal 1/2 of plant; blade linear, lanceolate, oblanceolate, oblong, or orbiculate, fulvous abaxially, margins entire, usually pubescent. Inflorescences terminal, erect, pedunculate, spiciform, mostly compound, usually elongate and interrupted, or rounded and headlike; rachis consisting of spirally arranged bracts that adaxially subtend 2 concave imbricate bracteoles enclosing and falling with the flowers, silky or woolly. Flowers bisexual; tepals 5, connate at least to middle into tube; lobes lanceolate to acute; tube 2-lipped, 5-lobed, surpassing bracteoles, lanate, becoming indurate in fruit and developing lateral wings or crests 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 or lenticular, germinating while enclosed by perianth tube. x = 8.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    "Fls perfect, each subtended by a scarious bract and 2 bractlets; cal tubular, becoming flask-shaped or conic and indurate in fr, shortly 5-lobed, densely woolly; stamens 5, the filaments united into a tube equaling the cal and suggesting a sympetalous cor, the 5 oblong, bisporangiate and unilocular anthers alternating with 5 ligulate lobes; style slender; stigma capitate; ovule 1; fr a membranous, indehiscent utricle, included in the indurated cal-tube; ours annuals with narrow, opposite lvs and woolly terminal spikes. 20, New World."

  • Provided by: [E].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 



    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.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    Cottonweed, snake-cotton [for Joseph Aloys von Froelich, 1766-1841, German physician and botanist who published on Sonchus, Hieracium, and Gentiana]

     Information From

    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    MBG Floras Images
    Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
    • B Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora de Nicaragua
    WD Stevens, CU Ulloa, A Pool and OM Montiel. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2001
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of North America @
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • D Flora of North America Association
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • E Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    World Flora Online consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).