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."
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.