This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial or annual herbs or low shrubs, with alternate sessile narrow entire leaves, and perfect or pistillate flowers, sometimes bracteolate, clustered in the axils. Calyx 5-lobed, herbaceous or membranous, wingless, or sometimes developing a horizontal wing, enclosing the fruit. Stamens 3-5, their filaments linear. Ovary ovoid, narrowed upward into the style; stigmas 2. Utricle pear-shaped or oblong, the pericarp membranous, not adherent to the seed. Seed inverted; the testa thin; embryo annular; endosperm none. [Name in honor of W. D. J. Koch, 1771-1849, Director of the Botanical Garden at Erlangen.]
About 35 species, mostly natives of the Old World, the following introduced from Europe. An indigenous species, K. amcricana, occurs in the western United States. Type species: Kochia Scoparia (L.) Roth.
Chenopodium Scoparia L. Sp. Pl. 221. 1753. Kochia Scoparic Roth; Schrad. Neues Journ. Bot. 3: 85. 1809.
Annual, pubescent or becoming glabrate, stem erect, slender, rather strict, branched, leafy, l°-2 1/2 o tall. Leaves linear-lanceolate or linear, cili-ate, acuminate at the apex, 1-2' long, 1"-2" wide, the upper gradually smaller; flowers sessile, in the axils of the upper leaves, forming short dense bracted spikes; fruiting calyx-segments each with a short triangular horizontal wing.
Bassia hirsuta, a related pubescent annual, native of Europe, has been found in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Its fruiting calyx is not winged.