Annual herb 30 cm - 0.65 m tall Stem: upright, much-branched from near base, smooth to sparsely and finely white-mealy. Branches spreading to ascending. Leaves: alternate, stalked, 1 - 3.5 cm long, 1 - 3 mm wide, linear with a tapering base and blunt to pointed tip, one-veined, somewhat fleshy, smooth to sparsely white-mealy beneath. Inflorescence: a small cluster of flowers (glomerule), which together form spikes or branched inflorescences (panicles) that are 4 - 9 cm long and 5 - 9 cm wide. Flowers: greenish, small, with five nearly distinct sepals and no petals. Sepal lobes about 1 mm long and wide, egg-shaped with a blunt to rounded apex, keeled, slightly white-mealy. Stamens five. Stigmas two. Fruit: one-seeded (achene), surrounded by the persistent, spreading sepals, black, egg-shaped, thin-walled. Wall (pericarp) adhered to the seed. Seed horizontal, black, shiny, 1.4 - 1.6 mm wide, spherical, round-margined.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: June to September
Habitat and ecology: Black Oak savannas, railroad ballast, and sandy waste ground.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Chenopodium comes from the Greek words chen, meaning goose, and podion, meaning "little foot," referring to the leaf shape of some species. Pallescens means "becoming rather pale.