SEARCH AND WILDFLOWER HOME PAGE    WHITE FLOWERS      CONTACT US



Krascheninnikovia lanata

Krascheninnikovia lanata

Krascheninnikovia lanata

Krascheninnikovia lanata

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krascheninnikovia ceratoides subspecies lanata. Synonyms: Krascheninnikovia lanata, Ceratoides lanata. (Winterfat)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth Family)
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands. Summer.
Top of page: Lower Butler Wash, September, 2014.
Left: Canyonlands National Park, April 7, 2004; Hidden Valley Trail, Utah, October 21, 2013; and Big Gypsum Valley, May 10, 2013.

The sage green leaves of Winterfat might at first glance look like those of Sagebrush or Four-winged Saltbush but a second look shows them to be linear to narrowly lanceolate, not lobed, and very hairy.  There is no mistaking the long woolly seeds in massive numbers of Winterfat; they are unique and very evident even from far off. The shrub grows to 4 feet tall and wide, often in scattered colonies.  

Almost all modern floras give the specific epithet of this plant as lanata, but John Kartesz, ultimate authority for all plant names on this web site, maintains that the specific epithet should be ceratoides. The history of the naming of this species is convoluted.

The species was first named Axyris ceratoides by Linnaeus in 1753 from European specimens. In 2013 Heklau analyzed the history of the naming of this species and he found that it is "most likely" that Linnaeus was looking at specimens and descriptions of plants collected by the famous Siberian explorer Steller.  In 1772 Johann Gueldenstaedt reexamined the Steller specimens and concluded that they were not of the genus Axyris but instead should be placed in a new genus, one that he named for Russian professor, botanist, and explorer I. M. Krascheninnikov, thus Krascheninnikovia ceratoides.

On the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Meriwether Lewis was the first to collect this plant for western science and it was named Diotis lanata by Frederick Pursh in 1813. The plant endured several other names and then in 1971 Meeuse and Smit named it Krascheninnikovia lanata, the most widely accepted name at present.

Although most western botanists separate the North American species of Krascheninnikovia from the Eurasian species, Heklau's concludes from his research that they are the same and should be given their original Eurasian name, Krascheninnikovia ceratoides.

(Click for more biographical information about Krascheninnikov.)

"Ceratoides" means "horn-like" and "lanata" means "woolly".

Click to read more about the convoluted history of the naming of this species.

Krascheninnikovia lanata
Krascheninnikovia ceratoides subspecies lanata. Synonyms: Krascheninnikovia lanata, Ceratoides lanata. (Winterfat) formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands. Summer.
Canyonlands National Park, April 7, 2004.

Krascheninnikovia lanata
Krascheninnikovia ceratoides subspecies lanata. Synonyms: Krascheninnikovia lanata, Ceratoides lanata. (Winterfat)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth Family)
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands. Summer.
Murphy Trail, Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, September 27, 2005.

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

Range map for Krascheninnikovia ceratoides