Annual herb 20 cm - 1 m tall Stem: upright to arching, branched. Leaves: alternate, on a 0.5 - 2.5 cm long stalk, 2 - 8 cm long, 0.5 - 1.5 cm wide, oblong egg-shaped to lance-shaped with a tapering base and pointed tip, thin, sometimes lower leaves bear a few teeth along the margins, sparsely white-mealy. Inflorescence: a 0.5 - 2 mm wide, irregularly round cluster of flowers (glomerule), which together form short, interrupted spikes and larger branched inflorescences (panicles) that are 6 - 15 cm long. Flowers: greenish, small, with five nearly distinct sepals and no petals. Sepal lobes about 0.5 mm long and wide, reverse egg-shaped with a rounded apex, lightly keeled or not keeled, more or less white-mealy. Stamens five. Stigmas two. Fruit: one-seeded (utricle), only partially enclosed in the persistent, incurved sepals, depressed egg-shaped, thin-walled. Wall (pericarp) not adhered to the seed, easily separated, papery, smooth. Seed horizontal, black, shiny, 0.9 - 1.3 mm wide, lenticular (lens-shaped), round-margined, wrinkled-honeycombed to smooth.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: June to early September
Habitat and ecology: Locally frequent in sandy soils. Also found in thin woods, especially where competition has been removed.
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.
Erect or arching annual to 1(-2) m; lvs thin, green or sparsely mealy, lanceolate to rarely ovate, to 8 cm, acute, entire or the larger with a few low teeth, acute or cuneate at base; fls single to few in small glomerules, these forming short, interrupted spikes that are often grouped into a loose, slender, sometimes nodding panicle; cal ±white-mealy, scarcely covering the fr; pericarp smooth, papery, fragile, easily separable; seeds horizontal, black, shining, ca 1 mm wide, smooth to faintly striolate, longitudinally striolate over the radicle; 2n=18. Dry, open woods; widespread in e. U.S. and adj. Can., from s. Que. to Fla., and w. to S.D. and Tex. (C. boscianum, misapplied)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.