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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Chenopodium (goosefoot, alluding to the shape of the leaves). Chenopodiaceae. Goosefoot. Widely dispersed weedy herbs, with very inconspicuous greenish flowers, some of which occur in gardens as oddities or for ornament, and others are pot-herbs of very minor importance. Spinach, beet, and orach are allied plants.

Plants of various habit, mostly erect: fls. perfect, bractless, sessile in small masses and these clusters arranged in spikes or panicles; calyx 4-5-parted, petals wanting; stamens usually 5; styles 2 or 3.: seed lenticular: lvs. alternate. The calyx sometimes enlarges and becomes succulent and colored, inclosing the fr., and the glomerules may then look like berries.—Perhaps 60 species in all parts of the globe, annuals and perennials, sometimes woody. Many of them are field and garden weeds. They are mostly mealy or glandular herbs, often with strong odor. Some of them are used as pot-herbs or "greens."

Many weedy chenopods invade cult. grounds. C. album. Linn., the common pigweed or lamb's quarters, is a favorite for "greens." This species runs into many forms. C. viride, of Eu. and Asia, has seeds that are said to be edible. C. Vulvaria, Linn., sparingly intro, from Eu., has the smell of stale fish. C. ambrosoides. Linn., Mexican tea. and var. anthelminticum. Gray, wormseed, are frequent; they contain strong essential oils. The weedy species are variable, and puzzling to the systematist. L.H.B. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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