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spreading pellitory

Pennsylvania cucumber plant, Pennsylvania pellitory, rock pellitory

Habit Herbs, perennial from crown, 1-8dm. Herbs, annual, 0.4-6 dm.

ascending, erect, or decumbent.

simple or freely branched, decumbent, ascending, or erect.


blades narrowly to broadly elliptic, lance-elliptic, or ovate, 1.3-9 × 0.8-4.5 cm, base attenuate, cuneate, or broadly rounded, apex abruptly acuminate to long-attenuate.

blades narrowly to broadly elliptic, lanceolate, oblong, or ovate, (1-)2-9 × 0.4-3 cm, base narrowly cuneate, apex acuminate to long-attenuate or obtuse to rounded;

proximal pair of lateral veins arising above junction of blade and petiole.


involucral bracts 1.5-2.5 mm;

tepals ca. 2-3.5 mm, longer than bracts.

involucral bracts 1.8-5 mm, usually less than 2 times length of achene;

tepals 1.5-2 mm, shorter than bracts.


dark brown, symmetric, 1-1.2 × 0.6-0.9 mm, apex acute, mucro absent or minute;

stipe centered, on cylindric base.

light brown, symmetric, 0.9-1.2 × 0.6-0.9 mm, apex obtuse, mucro apical;

stipe straight, short-cylindric, centered, basally dilated.


=14, 16.

Parietaria judaica

Parietaria pensylvanica

Phenology Flowering all year, with peak in late winter–spring. Flowering spring–late fall.
Habitat Cracks in sidewalks, ballast heaps, waste places, frequently about ports and coastal areas Dry ledges, talus slopes, waste and shaded places, primarily in neutral to basic soils, and reported from margins of hot springs in northernmost locations
Elevation 0-200 m (0-700 ft) 0-2400 m (0-7900 ft)
from FNA
CA; FL; LA; MI; NJ; NY; PA; TX; Eurasia; n Africa [Introduced in North America]
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from FNA
AL; AR; AZ; CA; CO; CT; DC; FL; GA; IA; ID; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MO; MS; MT; NC; ND; NE; NH; NJ; NM; NV; NY; OH; OK; OR; PA; SC; SD; TN; TX; UT; VA; VT; WA; WI; WV; WY; AB; BC; MB; ON; QC; SK; YT; Mexico
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Parietaria judaica, which, in North America, is most abundant in scattered localities in California, is the only long-lived perennial species of Parietaria in the flora. Because of confusion in Europe over the correct name, plants in North America have been called P. judaica, P. officinalis of authors, not Linnaeus, P. officinalis var. erecta (Mertens & Koch) Weddell, and P. officinalis var. diffusa (Mertens & Koch) Weddell. For a clarification of the nomenclature and taxonomy of this complex, see C.C. Townsend (1968).

Parietaria judaica was first reported from Louisiana as P. diffusa Mertens & Koch, another name commonly used on herbarium specimens (J.W. Thieret 1969).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Some extremes of Parietaria pensylvanica with short, oblong or ovate leaf blades strongly resemble P. hespera var. hespera. Parietaria hespera is usually more delicate and has thinner leaves with the proximal pair of lateral veins arising at the junction of blade and petiole. Leaf shape and texture tend to overlap in the two species, but in P. pensylvanica the proximal pair of lateral veins clearly arise above the junction of blade and petiole. The extremes of P. pensylvanica frequently are found where the ranges of the two species approach or overlap. Examples of these intermediates are from Gila, Mohave, and Yuma counties, Arizona. A mixed collection from Rock Springs, Gila County, Arizona, suggests that the two species occasionally grow together.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 3. FNA vol. 3.
Parent taxa Urticaceae > Parietaria Urticaceae > Parietaria
Sibling taxa
P. floridana, P. hespera, P. pensylvanica, P. praetermissa
P. floridana, P. hespera, P. judaica, P. praetermissa
Synonyms P. obtusa, P. occidentalis, P. pensylvanica var. obtusa
Name authority Linnaeus: Fl. Palaest., 32. (1756) Muhlenberg ex Willdenow: Sp. Pl. 4(2): 955. (1806)
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