Sp. Pl. 1: 90. 1753.


Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 40. 1754.

Common names: Pinweed
Etymology: For Johan Leche, 1704 – 1764, Swedish botanist
Synonyms: Lechidium Spach
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 389. Mentioned on page 387, 390.

Herbs, perennial or biennial, or subshrubs, (0.7–)1.5–9 dm, sericeous, villous, or rarely glabrous; stems dimorphic: basal stems produced late in growing season, prostrate to procumbent or ascending, overwintering; flowering stems produced in spring, erect to spreading-ascending. Leaves alternate, subopposite, opposite, or whorled, petiolate or sessile; blade 1-veined from base, linear to elliptic or ovate, oblanceolate, or orbiculate, margins revolute. Inflorescences paniculate or racemose, loose or congested, axils 1–3-flowered, bracteolate. Pedicels present. Flowers: chasmogamous; sepals 5, outer 2 linear to linear-lanceolate, inner 3 ovate to obovate, sometimes indurate in fruit; petals 3, maroon or green, usually shorter than sepals; stamens (3–)5–15(–25); carpels 3; style 0–0.5 mm; stigmas 3, dark red, fimbriate-plumose, sometimes persistent in fruit. Capsules 3-valved, exserted beyond calyx or not. Seeds 1–6 per capsule, ovoid, often compressed laterally, with or without easily separating membranous coat. x = 9 or unknown.


North America, Mexico, West Indies (Cuba), Central America (Belize).


The flowers of Lechea species are at anthesis only early in the day and most collections comprise fruiting individuals. In the key here, specimens lacking fruit and seeds can be difficult to determine with certainty. Regional treatments (for example, K. Barringer 2004; D. D. Spaulding 2013) can be very useful for identification.

Species 18 (16 in the flora).


1 Flowering stems spreading-villous > 2
2 Basal stems not produced; leaves of flowering stems: blade 5–8 mm; capsules ellipsoid, distinctly longer than calyx. Lechea divaricata
2 Basal stems produced; leaves of flowering stems: blade 10–30 mm; capsules subglobose, equaling or slightly longer than calyx. Lechea mucronata
3 Pedicels 3–5 mm; seeds (4–)6. Lechea san-sabeana
5 Pedicels 1–2 mm; calyx indurate, shiny, yellow-brown basally in fruit. Lechea racemulosa
6 Capsules ovoid to broadly ovoid, ± equaling calyx > 8
7 Leaves of flowering stems whorled or opposite, blade 4–7 mm wide. Lechea minor
7 Leaves of flowering stems alternate or subopposite, blade 0.3–1.5 mm wide. Lechea sessiliflora
8 Seeds 1(–2); capsules 1.2–1.3 mm diam. Lechea mensalis
8 Seeds 2–3(–5); capsules 1.3–1.5 mm diam. Lechea tenuifolia
9 Stems and leaves glabrous. Lechea lakelae
9 Stems and leaves hairy, at least in part > 10
10 Leaf blades densely hairy on both surfaces; pedicels 2–3 per axil. Lechea cernua
10 Leaf blades glabrous or sparsely hairy adaxially, hairy abaxially at least on midvein and margins; pedicels 1 per axil > 11
11 Capsules ellipsoid to ovoid or obovoid, length mostly 2+ times diam > 12
12 Stigmas not persistent on capsule; calyx indurate, shiny, yellow-brown basally in fruit. Lechea racemulosa
12 Stigmas persistent on capsule; calyx not indurate, shiny, yellow-brown basally in fruit. Lechea sessiliflora
13 Subshrubs; seeds 1(–2). Lechea deckertii
13 Herbs; seeds 2–6 > 14
14 Capsules longer than calyx. Lechea pulchella
14 Capsules shorter than or ± equaling calyx > 15
15 Seeds with membranous gray coat. Lechea intermedia
15 Seeds without membranous gray coat > 16
16 Capsules mostly 2+ mm diam.; c Canada, midwestern United States. Lechea stricta
16 Capsules mostly to 2 mm diam.; coastal plain > 17
17 Leaves of flowering stems: blade narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, 1.2–4 mm wide; capsules 1.5–1.9 mm diam.; n coastal plain south to ne North Carolina. Lechea maritima
17 Leaves of flowering stems: blade linear to narrowly elliptic, 1–1.5 mm diam.; s coastal plain north to se North Carolina. Lechea torreyi
... more about "Lechea"
David E. Lemke +
Linnaeus +
Pinweed +
North America +, Mexico +, West Indies (Cuba) +  and Central America (Belize). +
For Johan Leche, 1704 – 1764, Swedish botanist +
Sp. Pl. +  and Gen. Pl. ed. +
1753 +  and 1754 +
barringer2004a +, britton1894a +, hodgdon1938a +, spaulding2013a +, wilbur1961a +  and wilbur1966a +
Lechidium +
Cistaceae +