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a genus of plants of the family Chenopodiaceae. They are subshrubs, subshrublets, or annual grasses. The plants have entire, pubescent, mostly lanceolate leaves; their tiny flowers are gathered in clusters. There are approximately 90 species, found primarily in Australia; the plants are also distributed in southern Europe, the temperate regions of Asia, northern and southern Africa, and the western region of North America. In the USSR there are from eight to ten species in the steppes and semideserts, which often grow in saline soils. The species Kochia prostrata, a subshrublet with upright branches, grows in the southern regions along stony slopes and in solonetzes. It is used as fodder and fuel. Summer cypress, or belvedere (K. scoparia), is an extremely ramose annual, found in kitchen gardens and refuse areas in the middle and southern zones. This species, which is grown for making wreaths, has poisonous seeds. The variety of belvedere K. scoparia var. trichophylla is grown as an ornamental.
T. V. EGOROVA