Annual herb 20 cm - 0.8 m tall Stem: upright, unbranched to branched above, moderately to densely white-mealy. Leaves: alternate, upright to ascending, on a 0.4 - 1 cm long stalk, 1.5 - 4 cm long, 0.4 - 1.5 cm wide, linear to narrowly lance-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped with a tapering base and pointed tip, typically three-veined, sometimes with a pair of basal lobes, thick, somewhat fleshy, sparsely to densely white-mealy beneath. Inflorescence: a small, dense cluster of flowers (glomerule), which together form upright or ascending spikes, of which form a larger inflorescence (panicle), white-mealy. Flowers: greenish, small, with five nearly distinct sepals and no petals. Sepal lobes to 1 mm long, oblong egg-shaped with a blunt, rounded, or shallowly notched apex, prominently keeled along midvein, densely white-mealy. Stamens five. Stigmas two. Fruit: one-seeded (utricle), surrounded by the persistent, spreading sepals, egg-shaped, thin-walled. Wall (pericarp) loose and easily separable from the seed. Seed horizontal, black, shiny, 1 - 1.4 mm wide, spherical, round-margined, wrinkled.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: June to October
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.
Erect annual to 8 dm with ascending branches; lvs erect or ascending, oblong to lanceolate or lance-ovate, entire or the larger ones often few-toothed or subhastate, at least the larger ones 3-nerved from the base, but without any apparent secondary veins, mostly 2-4 cm נ4-15 mm, 3-5 times as long as wide; infl white-mealy, of many small glomerules in short, terminal or subterminal, erect or ascending spikes, forming a slender paniculiform infl; sep 5, carinate when ripe, tending to spread and expose the fr; pericarp loose, freely separable from the seed; seeds horizontal, black and shining, mostly 1.0-1.4 mm wide; 2n=18. In dry, open places in w. and c. U.S., and extending e. in woodlands to the Appalachian region and s. Que. (C. foggii; C. desiccatum var. leptophylloides, misapplied)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Widely distributed west of the Mississippi River, eastward probably only introduced. Highly polymorphic. Found usually in sandy soil.
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Strictly erect stems, simple or branching above, 20-80 cm tall, moderately to densely farinose. Leaves: Petiole 0.4-1 cm, blade linear to narrowly lanceolate, or oblong-elliptic, 3-veined, 1.5-4.2 cm by 0.4-1 cm, thick and somewhat fleshy, cuneate base, margins entire or with pair of lobes near base, apex acute, abaxial surface densely to sparingly white-mealy. Flowers: Glomerules in terminal and axillary panicles, 1-13 cm by 0.15-0.5 cm; densely disposed, maturing irregularly, bracts leaflike; perianth segments 5, distinct nearly to base, lobes oblong-ovate, 0.8-1 mm by 0.5-0.7 mm, apex obtuse, rounded or emarginated, strongly keeled along midvein, densely farinose, usually spreading from fruit; stamens 5, stigmas 2. Fruits: Ovoid utricles, pericarp nonadherent, smooth; round seeds, black, 0.9-1.3 mm diameter, rounded margins. Ecology: Open sandy soils, often in saline or alkaline places from sea level to 8,000 ft (2438 m); flowers May-September. Ethnobotany: Leaves boiled and eaten by the Gila Pima. Etymology: Chenopodium means goose foot, pratericola is from Latin partum, a meadow, meaning it dwells in meadows. Synonyms: Chenopodium albescens, Chenopodium pratericola subsp. eupratericola, Chenopodium pratericola var. leptophylloides Editor: SBuckley, 2010