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Fat hen

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Fathen

Fat hen

About Fat hen Edit

Wikipedia Article About Fat Hen on Wikipedia

Fat Hen (Chenopodium album), also called white goosefoot, lamb's quarters, lambsquarters, or pigweed, is a fast-growing, upright, weedy annual species of goosefoot, very common in temperate regions, growing almost everywhere in soils rich in nitrogen, especially on wasteland. Its pollen can contribute to hayfever-like allergies. It tends to grow upright at first, reaching heights of 30-80 cm, but typically becomes recumbent after flowering (due to the weight of the foliage and seeds) unless supported by other plants.

The opposite leaves can be very varied in appearance. The first leaves, near the base of the plant, are toothed and roughly diamond-shaped, 3-7 cm long and 3-6 cm broad. The leaves on the upper part of the flowering stems are entire and lanceolate-rhomboid, 1-5 cm long and 0.4-2 cm broad. The leaves are waxy-coated, unwettable and mealy in appearance, with a whitish coat on the underside.

The tiny flowers are radially symmetrical and grow in small cymes on a dense branched inflorescence 10-40 cm long.

The species has a very complex taxonomy and has been divided in numerous microspecies, subspecies and varieties, but it is difficult to differentiate between them. Published names and synonyms include C. album var. microphyllum, C. album var. missouriense, C. album var. stevensii, C. album subsp. striatum, C. acerifolium, C. centrorubrum, C. giganteum, C. jenissejense, C. lanceolatum, C. pedunculare and C. probstii. It also hybridises readily with several other Chenopodium species, including C. berlandieri, C. ficifolium, C. opulifolium, C. strictum and C. suecicum.

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