Chenopodium Diana Bizecki Robson Key - Sask

This key was created by Diana Bizecki Robson (Robson, D.B. 2008, 'The Prairie Goosefoots', Blue Jay, vol. 66, no.2, pp. 82-95).  I have added:


links to the species descriptions in Flora of North America


common names


rarity/abundance information, taken from Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan by Vernon L. Harms. N - native, CC - very common, C - common, FC - fairly common, UC - uncommon, VUL - vulnerable, THR - threatened, END  - endangered, EXT - possibly extirpated, ABS - absent, VER? - verification uncertain,  IN - introduced, ADV? - possibly adventive, R - rare (applies to introduced species only).

1a. Calyx fleshy, red, and globular,  resembling a small strawberry  (2)
1b. Calyx not fleshy, red, and strawberry-like  (3)

2a. Leaf-like bracts present throughout the flower spike; flowers maturing from base upwards; 1 stamen  C. foliosum (Leafy Goosefoot) ABS
2b. Leaf-like bracts present only in lower half of the flower spike; flowers maturing from top downwards; 3 stamens  C. capitatum (Strawberry Blite) C

3a. Leaves mostly linear, occasionally linear-lanceolate or oblong ovate, 2-3 times longer than wide or longer; entire or with two basal lobes  (4)
3b. Leaves deltoid, rhombic, oblong or ovate; to 2 times longer than wide; entire, toothed or lobed  (9)

4a. Leaves with 1 vein, blades linear, margins entire  (5)
4b. At least the lower leaves with 3 veins from the base, blades linear to lanceolate, margins may have 2 basal lobes  (6)

5a. Leaves glabrous to very sparsely farinose, fleshy; fruit a utricle (with a loose, inflated pericarp); seeds 1.3-1.5 mm in diameter  C. subglabrum (Smooth Goosefoot) THR
5b.  Leaves moderately to densely farinose, not fleshy; fruit an achene (with a close-fitting pericarp); seeds 0.9-1.2 mm in diameter  C. leptophyllum (Narrow-Leaved Goosefoot) UC

6a. Sepals covering the fruit at maturity  C. dessicatum (Arid Goosefoot) UC
6b. Sepals not covering the fruit at maturity  (7)

7a. Leaves 1.5-3 times longer than broad, lower surface almost glabrous; glomerules in a loose panicle-like inflorescence; pericarp smooth  C. atrovirens (Pinyon Goosefoot) END
7b. Leaves 3 times longer than broad, lower surface farinose; glomerules in dense spikes or panicles; pericarp smooth or warty  (8)

8a. Fruit a utricle (with a loose, inflated pericarp); pericarp smooth; seeds founded; lower leaves often with two prominent basal lobes or teeth  C. pratericola (Desert Goosefoot) CC
8b. Fruit an achene (with a close-fitting pericarp); pericarp with small warts; seeds flattened; lower leaves entire  C. hians (Gaping Goosefoot) THR

9a. Seeds vertical, or both vertical and horizontal  (10)
9b. Seeds all horizontal  (12)

10a. Plants perennial; sepals 5; seeds more than 1.5 mm in diameter; fruits are achenes (with a close-fitting pericarp)  C. bonus-henricus (Fat Hen or Wild Spinach) ABS (a garden escape reported in Alberta)
10b. Plants annual; sepals 3 or 4; seeds less than 1.5 mm in diameter; fruits are utricles (with a loose, inflated pericarp)  (11)

11a. Leaves farinose, the underside white; seeds rugose-punctate  C. glaucum (Oak-Leaved Goosefoot) C
11b. Leaves glabrous, the underside not white or sparsely white, usually blackening upon drying; seeds smooth  C. rubrum (Red Goosefoot) C

12a. Mature plants short, up to 25 cm high  (13)
12b. Mature plants tall, up to 50 cm high  (14)

13a. Plants up to 15 cm high when mature; fruit a whitened achene (with a close-fitting pericarp); leaves with a fishy scent when bruised  C. watsonii (Dakota Stinking Goosefoot) VUL
13b. Plants up to 25 cm high when mature; fruit a utricle (with a loose, inflated pericarp); leaves lacking a fishy scent  C. incanum (Mealy Goosefoot) THR

14a. Flowers individually arranged in panicles; leaves blades glabrous  (15)
14b. Flowers in loose or dense glomerules; leaf blades usually farinose  (16)

15a. Leaves wavy to toothed; seeds 1.3-1.9 mm in diameter  C. simplex (Maple-Leaved Goosefoot) C
15b. Leaves entire; seeds 0.8-1.3 mm in diameter  C. polyspermum (Many-Seeded Goosefoot) IN, R/ADV?

16a. Seeds deeply honeycomb-pitted  C. berlandieri (Pit-Seed Goosefoot) CC
16b. Seeds warty or smooth  (17)

17a. Leaves triangular; margins entire, lobed or toothed  (18)
17b. Leaves ovate to broadly ovate, rhombic or lanceolate; margins lobed or toothed  (19)

18a. Leaf blades toothed and sometimes with basal lobes, older leaves glabrous  C. murale (Sowbane Goosefoot) IN, VER?
18b.Leaf blades with basal lobes but not toothed; leaf blades usually farinose  C. fremontii (Fremont's Goosefoot) C

19a. Leaf margins tapering to an acute apex; leaf blades stalked and ovate, rhombic or lanceolate; seeds circular in outline  C. album (Lamb's Quarters) CC
19b. Leaf margins roughly parallel below the obtuse apex; leaf blades sessile and lanceolate to narrowly elliptic; seeds oval in outline  C. strictum (Late-Flowering Goosefoot) N/IN?, UC