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Frost-blite Chenopodium album

Phonetic Spelling
ken-oh-POH-dee-um AL-bum
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Lambsquarters is a highly adaptable and nutritious summer annual edible in the Amaranthaceae (buckwheat) family.  A common name goosefoot comes from the shape of the leaves resembling a goose's foot.  In its native habitat of Europe and Asia is found growing in waste sites, farm land, or riparian wetland habitats and is often one of the first weeds to appear on newly disturbed soils.  The plant size varies widely depending on the nutrient level of the soil growing anywhere from 4 inches to 6 feet tall and 4 to 12 inches wide.  

This plant grows rapidly spreading greenish-blue leaves and covered with soft wooly hairs so it has a velvety feel.  The flowers are not very showy and are pollinated by the wind.  Each plant producing large amounts of seed that allow this plant to reseed very easily and become aggressive in the landscape.  A short tap root forms the foundation for upright stems with interesting pink to red vertical stripes. 

This plant prefers full sun and moist fertile loamy soils though it tolerates partial shade and a range of soil types.  Plants grown in more fertile soils have a more palatable taste and are a nutritious weed if enjoyed in moderation.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: It can be quite weedy in disturbed areas and the seeds can remain viable in the soil for many years.  Pulling up seedlings before they set seed or mowing over plants before they produce seed are two management options.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annuals#edible plant#weeds#edible weed#gray leaves#silver leaves#white leaves#weedy#summer annual weed#high maintenance#summer flowers#disturbed areas#hairy leaves#edible seeds#edible garden#edible leaves#warm season weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annuals#edible plant#weeds#edible weed#gray leaves#silver leaves#white leaves#weedy#summer annual weed#high maintenance#summer flowers#disturbed areas#hairy leaves#edible seeds#edible garden#edible leaves#warm season weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chenopodium
    Species:
    album
    Family:
    Amaranthaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans have made a flour from the dried seeds.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eurasia
    Wildlife Value:
    The leaves are a food source for many caterpillars including the skippers Staphylus hayhurstii (Hayhurst's Scallopwing) and Pholisora catullus (Common Sootywing), and moths Grammia virgo (Virgin Tiger Moth), Emmelina monodactyla (Morning Glory Plume Moth), Amyna octo (The Eight-Spot), Chrysoesthia lingulacella (Flamboyent Twirler Moth), and Scythris limbella (Chenopodium Scythris Moth), beetles, grasshoppers, mammals, and songbirds especially sparrows.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    Seeds, leaves, shoots, and flowers can be edible to an extent though they are not particularly palatable. However, the plant has saponins and oxalic acid so cook, steam, and/or freeze before consuming parts of this plant.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Multi-stemmed
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Copious amounts (50,000 or more) are extremely tiny almost rounded seeds that are black, green, or brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Pink
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Panicle
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    In (generally) terminal clusters mid-summer through fall and are pollinated by the wind. Flowers can be very light green or pink panicles of spikes. Individual flowers are 1/10" wide with no petals 5 stamens with yellow anthers and the panciles can be up to 8" long but are usually smaller.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Pink
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Deltoid
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    There are two types of leaves on this plant– oppositely arranged cotyledons and true, alternate leaves. They are 5" long , goose foot-shaped (though other shapes are possible too such as triangular, ovate, lanceolate, or even linear), and smooth-margined with some teeth along the edge or undulate lobed. Leaves are green, sometimes with tints of pink or purple along the margins, and a white mealy coating produced by tiny hairs on the leaves. The hairs are denser on the underside of the leaves, making it appear lighter in color. As the leaves mature, the white hairs become more sparse. The petioles are about half the length of the leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    As a seedling, part of the stem comes in light colors of green, red, purple, or tan and is smooth as well as striated (meaning there are lines on the stem). The stems are stiff and angular.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    If eaten in large quantities can cause digestive upset and can disturb the nervous system.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins, and oxalic acid
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds
    Stems