Annual herb to 1 m tall Stem: upright to sprawling, unbranched to much-branched, consistently purple at the nodes, sparsely to densely mealy. Leaves: alternate, on a 1 - 2.5 cm long stalk, often turning reddish with age, 1 - 10 cm long, 0.5 - 4 cm wide, lower leaves up to one and a half times as long as wide, diamond- egg-shaped to lance-shaped with a narrowly to broadly tapering base and nearly blunt to pointed tip, sometimes shallowly toothed to wavy-toothed, more or less white-mealy. Inflorescence: a 3 - 4 mm wide, nearly round cluster of flowers (glomerule), which together form a 2 - 19 cm long, compound spike, often turning reddish with age. Flowers: greenish, small, with five nearly distinct sepals and no petals. Sepal lobes about 1 mm long, egg-shaped with a blunt apex, keeled, more or less white-mealy. Stamens five. Stigmas two. Fruit: bladder-like, one-seeded (utricle), enclosed in the persistent, incurved sepals, blackish, depressed egg-shaped, thin-walled. Wall (pericarp) adherent or non-adherent to the seed. Seed horizontal, black, shiny, 0.9 - 1.2 mm wide, lenticular (lens-shaped), round-margined, more or less smooth.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: September to October
Habitat and ecology: A weed of cultivated and waste ground.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Notes: This confusing taxon appears to be a native form of Chenopodium album, differing mainly by its smaller seed size.
Etymology: Chenopodium comes from the Greek words chen, meaning goose, and podion, meaning "little foot," referring to the leaf shape of some species. Missouriense means "of or from Missouri."
Author: The Morton Arboretum
Lvs mostly wider than in typical C. album, the lower ones to 1.5 times as long as wide; stem consistently purple at the nodes; infl less compact, more delicate and flexuous; seeds avg smaller, 0.9-1.2 mm wide; fl only in late season, mostly Sept. The name C. album var. missouriense (Aellen) Bassett & Crompton is available.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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