Chenopodium bonus-henricus

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Chenopodium bonus-henricus

Biology And Ecology

Habitat. Usually on open, fairly dry, often trampled ground; nitrophilous. Mainly near habitations (especially at farmyards and near cow-houses) but also at ruins, in churchyards, along roads and in pastures; in some areas also a garden and town weed.


Europe: Austria presentA; Belgium presentB; Corse absentC; Poland presentD
Europe, especially the central parts and in the mountains.

Distribution. Nem-BNem(-LAlp). Alt. N SF 1100 m. - Formerly grown for food (used like spinach) and for medicine (for both humans and cattle); after a period of neglect now again cultivated on a small scale. An archaeophyte at least in the south, but in many areas declining; in some areas fairly recently arrived. - D at least formerly fairly common to scattered, but rare in VJy; declining, except perhaps in Brn. N archaeophytic mainly in inland areas in the southeast, locally extending west to SF (inner and middle Sogn); in Ho Bergen ruderal; since the 1980's expanding with garden ornamentals in He Tolga. S mostly fairly common north to BhG, Vg, Nrk, southeastern Vsm and Upl, but with large gaps in the southwestern uplands (SmI, southern Vg) and rapidly declining in HI; further north rare and declining to southern Vrm, southeastern Dir and eastern His; Mpd Sundsvall 1909, TL Jukkasjärvi (Kiruna) 1909. F A still in many places but rapidly declining during the 1970 ’s-90’ s; formerly scattered, and sometimes established, also in the southwestern mainland but at present probably only in V Vihti; casual further north to EP Kristiinankaupunki, Vaasa, PS Kuopio, Iisalmi, Kn Hyrynsalmi and OP Oulu, mainly a wartime immigrant, or brought in with grain.
A. Wolfgang Adler & Alexander Ch. Mrkvicka 2003: Die Flora Wiens, gestern und heute: p.151, B. Jacques Lambinon & Filip Verloove 2012: Nouvelle Flore de la Belgique, du G-.D. de Luxembourg, du nord de la France et des Régions voisines, 6th: p.159, C. Daniel Jeanmonod & Jacques Gamisans 2007: Flora Corsica: p.327, D. Marie Zajac, Adam Zajac & Bogdan Zemanek 2006: Flora Cracoviensis Secunda: p.64


Tige (30-60 c.) simple ou peu rameuse; feuilles triangulaires, hastées ou sagittées, entières ou ondulées aux bords, les inférieures amples; grappes comtes, compactes, les 2 ou 3 inférieures axillaires, les supérieures nues, formant une panicule spiciforme, insensiblement atténuée au sommet. Lieux fertiles, près des habitations, dans les plaines est autour des chalets des montagnes. Juin-Septembre. - Hemicryptophyte. Perennial, 10-80 cm; young parts brownish, somewhat sticky, farinose, later ± glabrous. Taproot up to 1.5 cm thick. Stems often several, subangular, brownish to yellowish green, up to 1 cm thick, erect or ascending, almost unbranched. Lower leaves with up to 15 cm long petiole; blade broadly triangular, 3-12 cm; base hastate to subsagittate; margin somewhat undulate, usually entire but sometimes with several large outward-pointing teeth. Middle leaves with much shorter petiole; blade with hastate base. Bracts ovate to lanceolate; margin entire. Inflorescence terminal, panicle-like, fairly dense and narrow, of subsessile flowers in small clusters on short branches which are subtended by bracts only in the lowermost part. Flowers dimorphic. Terminal flowers bisexual, with 5 tepals and 5 stamens. Lateral flowers bisexual or female, with 3-5 tepals; stamens, if present, 2-4. Tepals connate half-way or less; free part narrow, not contiguous, with narrow membranous margin and lobed apex, not keeled. Stigmas 2 or 3, 0.8-2 mm. Nut usually falling with the perianth; pericarp adherent to seed. Seed horizontal in apical flowers, vertical in lateral ones, broadly ovate in outline (ratio length/width c. 1.2), 1.5-2.2 mm; edge rounded; seed-coat dark brown to blackish red, dull, somewhat rugulose. - Mid-summer. Chenopodium bonus-henricus Chenopodium chenopodioides 2n=36 (D Sjce, S Sk 2). - [2n=36]


D Stolthenriks Gåsefod. F hyvänheikinsavikka. N stolt henrik. S lungrot.


Linnaeus, Sp. pi.: 218 (1753).

Not marked-up

10. A. Bon Henri.
Figs 2C, 5A