From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Desert bush 2.JPG
Bassia indica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Camphorosmoideae
Genus: Bassia

See text.


Chenoleioides (Ulbr.) Botsch.
Kirilowia Bunge
Kochia Roth
Londesia Fisch. & C.A. Mey.
Panderia Fisch. & C.A. Mey.

Bassia is a genus of flowering plants in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. They are distributed in the western Mediterranean to eastern Asia.[1] Some occur outside their native ranges as introduced species.[2]


The species of genus Bassia are annuals or perennial subshrubs. Their leaves are variable. The flowers are normally inconspicuous, in spike-like inflorescences without bracteoles. The fruits are achenes. The seed contains an annular, horseshoe-shaped or folded embryo that surrounds the perisperm. The fruiting perianth remains either unappendaged or develops 5 wings. The wings are spiny in Bassia hyssopifolia.[1]

According to its most recent description, the genus is defined by its three types of C4 "kochioid" leaf anatomy. Many other characters cannot be used to differentiate species from one another, because they are variable among individuals within the species.[1]


The genus mainly occurs in steppe and desert ecosystems.[2] Some species can be found in ruderal sites and salt marshes up to subalpine altitudes. Phylogenetical research suggests that the genus evolved in the Miocene.[1]


Some palatable species of Bassia with high protein content are valuable components of rangelands, sometimes seeded for the melioration of overgrazed rangelands.[1]


The genus name Bassia was first published in 1766 by Carlo Allioni, with the type species Bassia muricata L. (under the name B. aegyptiaca). The genus belongs to the subfamily Camphorosmoideae of the Amaranthaceae.

As of 2011, after its most recent reorganization, it contains about 20 species.[1]

Species include:[1]

Several other species formerly classified in Bassia are now treated in new genera in the subfamily Camphorosmoideae, some of them monotypic. B. hirsuta is now the only member of genus Spirobassia, and B. sedoides is the monotypic Sedobassia. B. dasyphylla is part of Grubovia. Bassia saxicola[6] is now Eokochia saxicola.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kadereit, G. and H. Freitag. (2011). Molecular phylogeny of Camphorosmeae (Camphorosmoideae, Chenopodiaceae): Implications for biogeography, evolution of C4-photosynthesis and taxonomy. Taxon 60(1), 51-78.
  2. ^ a b Bassia. Flora of North America.
  3. ^ a b Bassia. USDA PLANTS.
  4. ^ "Bassia prostrata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  5. ^ "Bassia scoparia". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  6. ^ Domina, G. and A. Santangelo. 2011. Bassia saxicola. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 04 August 2013.

External links[edit]