Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Chenopodium rubrum L.
- Family: Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae)
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: The smooth red or red-tinged leaves, the 3 sepals, and the usually alkaline habitat readily distinguish this species from all others.
- Habitat: Salt marshes, alkaline areas.
- Habit: Annual herb with a taproot.
- Stems: Upright or lying flat, branched or unbranched, up to 3 feet long, smooth.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate to oblong, up to 5 inches long, usually nearly as wide, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, the lowest coarsely jagged toothed and stalked, the upper without teeth and sessile, red or red-tinged, smooth.
- Flowers: Crowded into spikes forming a panicle.
- Sepals: 3, green, united at the base, up to 1/16 inch long.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: Usually 5.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Minute, spherical, about 1/20 inch in diameter, smooth, the seeds dark brown and shiny.
- Notes: The seeds of this plant are eaten by rodents and other small mammals.
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