Habitat. Formerly grown as a vegetable (for leaves and “berries”) and as an ornamental. In the latter half of the 19th and the early 20th century a relatively rare
Chenopodium foliosum Chenopodium capitatum garden escape and relic; a few recent records from gardens and tips, roadsides and waste ground due to germination of dormant seeds, or introduction with seed or grain.
Europe: Austria introduced: formerly introducedA
A. Wolfgang Adler & Alexander Ch. Mrkvicka 2003: Die Flora Wiens, gestern und heute: p.151
North America; early introduced to Europe, where it has often escaped from cultivation, but is probably not truly established.
Distribution. Not indigenous (see under Habitat). - D VJy Esbjerg 1929 (port), FyL Odense 1867, Sjce København numerous records 1887-1939, Snedinge 1876; LFM Nykøbing 1960. N old records from Ak Oslo 1840-92, Op Lillehammer 1864, 1896, Bu Kongsberg 1863, Vf Larvik 1855, Tjøme 1855 and ST Skaun 1935; only recent record Op Jevnaker 1977. S mainly old records: Sk at least Borgeby 1864, BhG Göteborg 1974 (from the botanic garden), Vg Stora Lundby 1908, Ög five 19th century records, Nrk Boo 1860's, Srm several localities, in Stockholm persisting 1850-92, Upl several localities, in Älvkarleby persisting 1836-76, Dir Grangärde 1957-58 and probably also 1985-86, Grycksbo 1854, Stora Kopparberg 1862-69, Gst Gävle 1895, Ovansjö 1855; in 1997 abundant at new roads (with grass-seed from Canada) in Bl Karlskrona, Kim Gårdveda, BhG Kville, Nödinge and Rödbo, Vg Fristad, Srm Kärnbo (Mariefred) and Upl Fröslunda, Harbo, Litslena och Östervåla, in 1998-99 also in Upl Odensala, Gst Ovansjö, His Bollnäs, Norrala and Söderhamn, �ng Bjurholm, and Nb (3 localities). Also recorded from S SmI, ///, Vsm and Jmt, but the specimens were probably cultivated. F casual or sometimes established for shorter periods; V Naantali 1940, Turku 1903-05, U Espoo 1887, Helsinki 1935, St Hämeenkyrö 1908-14, 1988, KP Kokkola 1862; OP Oulu 1991.
Therophyte (summer-annual). Glabrous, cm. Stem subangular, yellowish, green-striped or sometimes red, fairly soft, erect to ascending, usually sparsely branched. Leaves fairly succulent. Lower leaves with up to 8 cm long petiole; blade triangular to hastate, 2-7(-11) cm, longer than wide, often with several coarse teeth. Middle leaves with shorter petiole and smaller blade. Bracts narrowly hastate to lanceolate, with entire margin. Inflorescences spike-like, of sessile glomerules, leafy in the lower part only; bracts few, absent in the upper part of the inflorescence; glomerules compact, globose, 5-10(-15) mm thick. Flowers bisexual or female. Tepals 3-5, connate less than halfway, acute, persistent in fruit, becoming reddish violet and succulent, especially in inflorescences on the main axis and primary branches. Stamens 1-5. Stigmas 2, 0.2 mm. Nut with firmly adherent, thin pericarp; glomerules in fruit mulberry-like from the succulent tepals. Seed vertical, broadly ovate in outline, 0.6-1 mm; edge rounded or usually ± keeled; seed-coat blackish brown, dull, almost smooth or slightly striate. - Late summer. [2n=18]
Chenopodium capitatum is similar to Chenopodium foliosum (1); for differences see the latter.