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Bassia (family Chenopodiaceae) A genus of perennial herbs and small shrubs of warm temperate to hot regions, including Australia, where they are found mainly in the arid and littoral zones on lime-rich and saline soils (e.g. the Nullarbor plain). The plants are halophytic (see HALOPHYTE), with deeply penetrating roots and other xerophytic characters. The flowers are small and borne in a cymose inflorescence, usually wind-pollinated. The seed has a ring-shaped or semicircular embryo enclosing the endosperm. There are 26 species in central Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.