Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Common Lambsquarters: Chenopodium album

Weed Description:   Summer annual to 3 1/2 feet in height capable of producing thousands of seeds.

Seedling:  Cotyledons elliptic (12-15 mm long), dull green with a mealy gray cast on the upper surface and maroon on the underside, turning green with age.  Hypocotyls are hairless, green or tinged with maroon.  The first pair of true leaves are opposite, all other leaves are alternate.  Seedling leaves are triangular and also have a mealy gray cast.

Leaves:  Alternate, light green, rounded, triangular, 1 1/4 to 10 inches long and on a long petiole.


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Stems:  Erect, hairless, grooved, branching and light green with red coloration in varying degrees.

Roots: Short, much-branched taproot.

Flowers:  Small and clustered into panicles at tips of branches and upper leaf axils.  Flowers are green, inconspicuous, without petals and occur from June to September.

Fruit:  An utricle with a thin papery covering over the seeds.

cheal11-5.jpg (93666 bytes) Identifying Characteristics:  Cotyledons and seedling leaves have a mealy gray cast.  Cotyledons of common lambsquarters and Redroot Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) are similar, however redroot pigweed cotyledons have a prominent midvein while lambsquarter cotyledons do not.