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Useful Temperate Plants

Bassia scoparia

(L.) A.J.Scott

Amaranthaceae


Bassia scoparia is an extremely variable species. Several forms, varieties, and subspecies have been described. Of these taxa, the most widespread in China is probably var. (or subsp.) scoparia, whereas plants with lower branches arcuate, axis of inflorescence distinctly pubescent, and flowers surrounded by a dense tuft of long hairs exceeding the perianth segments have been called var. subvillosa.. The nomenclature of this latter variety is extremely confused; in particular, it has been called Kochia densiflora Turcz. Ex Aellen, whilst several other names have been misapplied to this entity.
The species also has a horticultural form, f. Trichophylla (A. Voss) Stapf ex Schinz & Thellung, which is characterized by plants appearing ovoid or obovoid (“cypresslike”), with crowded branches, and leaves narrower[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

+ Synonyms

Atriplex scoparia (L.) Crantz

Bassia sicorica (O.Bolòs & Masclans) Greuter & Burdet

Bassia sieversiana (Pall.) W.A.Weber

Bushiola scoparia (L.) Nieuwl.

Chenopodium scoparia L.

Kochia alata Bates

Kochia densiflora Turcz. ex Aellen

Kochia parodii Aellen

Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad.

Kochia sicorica O.Bolòs & Masclans

Kochia sieversiana (Pall.) C.A.Mey.

Salsola scoparia (L.) M.Bieb.

Salsola sieversiana Pall. ex Steud.

Salsola songarica Siev. ex Pall.

Suaeda cinerea Schur

Suaeda sieversiana Pall.

Common Name: Summer Cypress

Bassia scoparia
Young plant
Photograph by: Andrew Butko
Creative Commons License
Bassia scoparia Bassia scoparia Bassia scoparia Bassia scoparia Bassia scoparia Bassia scoparia Bassia scoparia Bassia scoparia

General Information

Bassia scoparia is a very variable, erect, annual plant. Some forms are unbranched, whilst others are freely branched and often form pyramidal or rounded tops. Leaf form also varies considerably. Plants can grow from 50 - 150cm tall[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant has a wide range of uses as a food, medicine and as a broom. It is cultivated as a food crop in China[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
], and is grown in several countries for use as a broom[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
151
Title
Corean Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Wilson. E. H. and Trollope. M. N.
Publisher
Royal Asiatic Society
Year
1918
ISBN
-
Description
A very small handbook, it does give a little bit of information on Korean plants.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. It can be used in restoration projects on mine spill sites and other degraded areas. The plant, especially the form known as Bassia scoparia trichophylla is often grown as an ornamental, where it makes an excellent short-term screen.
Bassia scoparia has spread to many countries as a result of human activity and is considered a noxious weed in some, such as Australia and parts of N. America[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. One plant can produce over 50,000 seeds per year under favorable conditions, but only 5 seeds per year under stressful conditions[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Known Hazards

Plants contain some saponins and should not be eaten in large quantities. Saponins are a toxin found in many of our daily foods such as many beans. They are usually present in quantities too small to be concerned about and are also very poorly absorbed by the body, tending to pass straight through without causing any problems. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Although generally considered to be good forage, the plant may cause photosensitization and polioencephalomalacia if eaten by grazing animals as a large part of their diet[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Toxic nephrosis and toxic hepatitis may also occur[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Toxic substances identified in the plant include saponins, alkaloids, nitrates, and oxalates[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]

Botanical References

60
Title
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Hitchcock. C. L.
Publisher
University of Washington Press
Year
1955
ISBN
-
Description
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
274
Title
Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
Publication
 
Author
Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J
Website
http://artemis.austincollege.edu/acad/bio/gdiggs/NCTXpdf.htm
Publisher
Botanical Research Institute, Texas.
Year
1999
ISBN
1-889878-01-4
Description
An excellent flora, which is also available on-line.

Range

Eurasia - Russia from Europe to the Far East, Turkey, Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan, China, Japan, Korea,

Habitat

Roadsides, ditches and wasteland in western N. America[
60
Title
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Hitchcock. C. L.
Publisher
University of Washington Press
Year
1955
ISBN
-
Description
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
]. Found mainly in grassland, mixed-grass prairie, shortgrass prairie, sagebrush, and desert shrub communities of western North America[
60
Title
Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Hitchcock. C. L.
Publisher
University of Washington Press
Year
1955
ISBN
-
Description
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Bassia scoparia is found mainly in continental climates, where summers can be hot and dry. Seedlings can germinate at low temperatures and are frost tolerant1050].
An easily grown plant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
], it succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Succeeds in any reasonably fertile light well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Tolerates saline soils[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Established plants are drought tolerant, with a root system that can descend 2.4 metres or more and spread laterally up to 6.6 metres[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The plant is allelopathic, inhibiting the early growth of other summer-cypress seedlings as well as growth of other plant species[
1009
Title
New South Wales Government; Pest and Weeds Management
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with very well-produced factsheets on over 300 noxious and environmental weeds of New South Wales
,
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
A major means of seed dissemination is a 'tumbleweed' dispersal mechanism via stem abscission[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The subspecies Bassia scoparia trichophylla. (Schmeiss.)Schinz.&Thell. Is the form most often found in cultivation as an ornamental in Britain[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Young leaves - cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. A delicious taste, they are used as a vegetable[
179
Title
Famine Foods listed in the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao.
Publication
 
Author
Reid. B. E.
Publisher
Southern Materials Centre; Taipei
Year
1977
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese book on edible wild foods. Fascinating.
]. A nutritional analysis is available[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Seed - dried and ground into a powder then mixed with cereals when making bread, biscuits etc[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. Very small and fiddly to use, it is also not a very reliable crop in Britain due to its late season of flowering[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. On a zero moisture basis, the seed contains 20.4 - 27.5% protein, 8.8 - 16% fat and 3.4 - 9.4% ash[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].
The seed contains saponins[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

The seeds, shoots, and leaves are used medicinally, and to all are attributed cardiotonic, diuretic and restorative properties[
176
Title
Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
Publication
 
Author
Yeung. Him-Che.
Publisher
Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles
Year
1985
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
,
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

The seeds and fruits are also antibacterial, antifungal, antiphlogistic and astringent[
176
Title
Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
Publication
 
Author
Yeung. Him-Che.
Publisher
Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles
Year
1985
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
,
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
]. They are prescribed in the treatment of fevers, colds, intercostal neuralgia, hernia, dysentery, and incontinence of urine in pregnant women[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
]. The seed is used to treat skin infections such as eczema ad scabies, and diseases of the urinary tract[
176
Title
Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas.
Publication
 
Author
Yeung. Him-Che.
Publisher
Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles
Year
1985
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent Chinese herbal giving information on over 500 species. Rather technical and probably best suited to the more accomplished user of herbs.
,
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
,
279
Title
Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation, Manila
Year
1998
ISBN
92 9061 120 0
Description
An excellent book with terse details about the medicinal uses of the plants with references to scientific trials. All plants are described, illustrated and brief details of habitats given.
].
The seed contains harmine, which can have adverse effects upon the gastro-intestinal tract and the central nervous system[
279
Title
Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation, Manila
Year
1998
ISBN
92 9061 120 0
Description
An excellent book with terse details about the medicinal uses of the plants with references to scientific trials. All plants are described, illustrated and brief details of habitats given.
].

The shoots and leaves are prescribed chiefly in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea, and in digestive disorders generally[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

The stems are used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea and dyspepsia[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant colonizes disturbed sites such as streambanks, oil well pits, and surface-mined lands. Although an exotic, it has been used in N. America for revegetation of disturbed lands. It is rated moderately good for erosion control and long-term revegetation potential and good for short-term revegetation potential. In Texas, at low seeding rates in mixtures with perennial species, it will establish on rangelands that have been exposed to on-site disposal of drilling fluids[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Although it colonizes surface-mined lands very well, it persists for only a few years, often being virtually eliminated by the third year. Decaying shoots and roots of large first-year summer-cypress may inhibit the growth of second-year seedlings[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
It often becomes the dominant plant in abundance and percent cover among all pioneer species in sodic soils resulting from surface mining activity and on spoilbanks created by strip-mine coal operations. It offers the possibility for obtaining a rapidly established but short-lived protective vegetative cover on saline soils. This cover could be used as a forage species or as a soil stabilizer, allowing more desirable species to establish[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Other Uses

The whole plant is used as a broom[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
151
Title
Corean Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Wilson. E. H. and Trollope. M. N.
Publisher
Royal Asiatic Society
Year
1918
ISBN
-
Description
A very small handbook, it does give a little bit of information on Korean plants.
]. The green form is used[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Old plants are used[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and plant out in May. The seed can also be sown in situ in late mid spring or early May.
The seed has a dormancy period of 2 to 3 months and germinates early in the spring. It can germinate in temperatures ranging from 3.9 - 41°c, with optimum germination occurring at 16°c[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Seeds have little or no seedbank viability; they either germinate or decay in 1 year[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-10-22. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Bassia+scoparia>

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