Common lambsquarters

Chenopodium album L.

Life cycle

Erect summer annual.

common lambsquarters plant
Common lambsquarters plant.


Cotyledons are oblong, narrow and linear with no midvein and a dull green to gray cast. The first one or two leaf pairs are opposite; all remaining leaves are alternate. Mature leaves are highly variable, being triangle-, diamond- or lance-shaped and light green above with gray, mealy undersides. Lower leaves have a petiole and irregular wavy to shallowly toothed margins. Young or newly emerged leaves often have a gray, mealy coating on both surfaces.

common lambsquarters seedling common lambsquarters leaf
Common lambsquarters seedling (left). Common lambsquarters leaf (right).


Erect, moderately branched central stem up to 6 feet in height. Mature stems are vertically grooved with red, purple or light green stripes.

common lambsquarters cotledon
Common lambsquarters cotyledons do not have midveins.

Flowers and fruit

Green, inconspicuous flowers are found in dense, granular clusters at the stem ends. Round to oval, somewhat flattened, black to brown, shiny seeds are enclosed by a star-shaped, papery covering.

common lambsquarters mature seedhead
Mature seedhead of common lambsquarters.



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