Chenopodium album L. 

Goosefoot, mealweed lamb’s quarters

Names and Myths

Chenopodium Grk Chen goose, and pous foot, from the shape of the leaves.

album White

Natural history / Folklore

A half-cup of lamb’s quarters provides three times the daily requirement of Vitamin A, and is also high in C and calcium.30 This plant is in the same family as spinach and has higher levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. The plant has been found in archeological diggings since the new stone age.32

A single plant can release 500,000 seeds45 which can remain in the soil bank for up to 40 years.34 The seeds may be crushed and used as flour, or gruel and crushed fresh roots are used as soap.35

When used as a chicken feed it produces dark yolked eggs and tender meat, it has been grown for both sheep and pig food. It is readily eaten, and lacks the bitter taste of many native plants, the result being that for human consumption it does not need to be double cooked.57 The high seed production and it's ability to grow well on manure heaps suggest that herbivory of the whole plant is not so much a threat, as a seed dispersal opportunity.

Species List Family Group
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June to September. Flower small greenish white, 1-6 feet in height. Stalk can be mealy white-green. Grows in waste places and on cultivated ground, in manure heaps and around barnyards.57

Leaves with a mealy texture. Purple blotches on the stems, dense clusters at the end of the leaves.