Lambsquarter

From Academic Kids

Lambsquarter
Chenopodium album
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Amaranthaceae
Genus:Chenopodium
Species:C. album
Binomial name

Chenopodium album

Lambsquarter, also called white goosefoot, lamb's quarters, fat hen, or pigweed, is a fast-growing, upright, weedy annual variety of the goosefoot, very common in temperate regions, growing almost everywhere in soils rich in nitrogen, especially on wasteland. Its pollen can contribute to hayfever-like allergies. Frequent mowing usually controls the weed as it tends to grow upright.

Contents

Description

The opposite leaves can be very varied in appearance. The first leaves are somewhat toothed and roughly diamond-shaped. The later leaves are entire and lanceolate-rhomboid, growing in numerous branches. These are unwettable and mealy in appearance, with a whitish coat on the underside.

The tiny flowers are radially symmetrical and grow in small cymes, which then form a branched inflorescence.

Varieties

This species can be divided in several varieties, but it is difficult to differentiate between them.

  • Chenopodium album var. album : Common Lambsquarters, Lambsquarters, White Goosefoot
  • Chenopodium album var. microphyllum : Common Lambsquarters, Lambsquarters, White Goosefoot
  • Chenopodium album var. missouriense : Common Lambsquarters, Lambsquarters, Missouri Goosefoot, Missouri Lambsquarters, White Goosefoot
  • Chenopodium album var. stevensii : Common Lambsquarters, Lamb’s-quarters, Lambsquarters, Stevens' Lambsquarters, White Goosefoot
  • Chenopodium album var. striatum : Common Lambsquarters, Lambsquarters, Lateflowering Goosefoot, White Goosefoot
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Chenopodiumalbum2web.jpg
close-up

Agricultural impact

This weed can be a host to the beet leafhopper, an insect which transmits curly top virus to beets.

Uses

Lambsquarter can be eaten as a vegetable, either steamed in entirety, or the leaves cooked like spinach as a leaf vegetable. Each plant produces tens of thousands of black seeds. These are very nutritious: high in protein, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Quinoa is a closely related species grown specifically for its seeds.

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