South Dakota Native Plant Research
Chenopodiaceae: Chenopodium simplex

Chenopodiaceae: Chenopodium simplex


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Family Name


Common Name

Mapleleaf goosefoot


Chenopodium simplex is an erect annual herb. usually having a single stem with spreading branches growing up to 2 m tall. The simple, alternate leaves are thin, triangular to broadly ovate, 7-20 cm long 5-15 cm wide, with 1-5 irregular, large, sharply pointed lobes separated by broad, rounded sinuses. The lower leaves are largest with petioles up to about 2.5 cm long and the upper leaves are usually smaller with shorter petioles. The leaf surfaces are bright green, smooth, sometimes with a sparse, white-mealy covering when young but becoming smooth with age. The inflorescence is a terminal, compact panicle of small clusters of tiny flowers that becomes spread out at maturity. The flowers have 5 sepals, 5 stamens and a pistil with 2 styles. Within a cluster, the flowers may develop at varying rates with some just budding when others have maturing fruit. The fruit are 1-seeded, inflated, lens shaped pods (utricles), 1.5-2.5 mm in diameter. Mapleleaf goosefoot blooms from June into September in sandy and rocky soils in shaded woodlands and disturbed ground throughout much of South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Mapleleaf goosefoot is not a plant that is commonly cultivated. It does not have particularly showy leaves and the flowers are unremarkable. It is less aggressive than other species of this genus but will readily self-seed each year.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: Fruits mature throughput the summer and fall.

Germination: Seeds are not dormant and can be successfully planted in spring or fall.

Light: Shate to full sun.

Soil: Well drained sands, loams and rocky soils.

Water: Moist.

Chenopodiaceae: Chenopodium simplex