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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

Chenopodium L. -- Goosefoot

Erect to spreading, taprooted annuals with simple to freely branched stems and alternate, petiolate leaves, the blades somewhat fleshy, lanceolate to ovate-oblong or trullate to deltate, sinuate-dentate to sinuate-lobed, seldom entire, occasionally hastate, sometimes farinose, especially on the lower surface. Flowers perfect, very minute and numerous, ca. 0.5 mm across at anthesis, greenish or sometimes reddish-tinged, densely clustered in glomerules which are borne in short terminal and axillary spikes, the spikes bracteate throughout with the bracts reducing in size upward; perianth 2- to 5-lobed, the segments rather fleshy, obtuse, often incurved over the fruit; stamens 1-5; styles 2(3), short. Fruit oriented horizontally or vertically to the persistent perianth, sometimes both horizontal and vertical, the thin membranous perianth loosely adherent to the lenticular seed.

The two chenopods treated here are consistently encountered on alkaline to saline shores and mudflats. Other weedy species such as Chenopodium berlandieri Moq. and C. strictum Roth are occasional on dry shores but are more typical of disturbed upland habitats.


Aellen, P. and T. Just.  1943.  Key and synopsis of the American species 
     of the genus Chenopodium L. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 30:47-76. 

Wahl, H. A.  1952-1953 (1954).  A preliminary study of the genus Chenopodium 
     in North America.  Bartonia 27:1-46.

Lead Characteristic Go To
1 Leaves persistently whitish-farinose on the lower surface, dull green above, mostly 0.7-3 cm long, 0.2-1.2 cm wide. C. glaucum
1 Leaves not whitish-farinose at maturity, green on both surfaces, often reddish-tinged, drying dark, mostly 2-8 cm long, 0.7-5 cm wide C. rubrum

12. Chenopodiaceae, the Goosefoot Family
2. Chenopodium L. -- Goosefoot
1. Chenopodium glaucum L. -- Oak-leaved goosefoot
2. Chenopodium rubrum L. -- Red goosefoot

Return to Family -- Chenopodiaceae - The Goosefoot Family
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