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Chenopodium atrovirens (Lamb's Quarters)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth),
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Foothills, montane. Openings, wet areas, disturbed areas. Summer.
Lizard Head Trail, August 22, 2007.

Chenopodium atrovirens grows from just two inches to two feet tall.  Flowers (not shown here) are 1/16 inch minute but are numerous in tight clusters.  The flattened spherical fruit is enclosed in five sepals (red in the photograph at left), each of which is keeled and often dotted with microscopic white-to-pink grains.  These grains are shown below in a microscope photograph of the tip of one sepal.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 and Per Axel Rydberg named this species in 1900.  Greek gives us both "chen" for a goose and "pous" for a foot.  (The "ch" in Chenopodium is pronounced as the "k" in "key": key-no-po-dee-um.)    "Atrovirens" means "dark green".

Chenopodium atrovirens (Lamb's Quarters)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth),
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Foothills, montane. Openings, wet areas, disturbed areas. Summer.
Lizard Head Trail, August 22, 2007.

Chenopodium atrovirens (Lamb's Quarters)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth),
formerly Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)

Foothills, montane. Openings, wet areas, disturbed areas. Summer.
Lower Stoner Mesa Trail, September 5, 2007.

Some seed pods have emptied and the star-shaped, symmetrical, tan and red pod is left behind.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Chenopodium atrovirens