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Maple-leaved Goosefoot

Chenopodium hybridum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Fens, fields, meadows, wasteland, woodland.

Green, no petals
Loose clusters of flowers. Some species in this family of plants have leafy flower spikes but Maple-leaved Goosefoot flower spikes are leafless. 0 petals, 5 sepals. Wind-pollinated. 5 stamens. The flowers sometimes turn pinkish-red with maturity.
A shiny black, flattened, round to egg-shaped seed, up to 2mm in length. The seeds mature from August to October.
The leaves are triangular to heart-shaped with a few large blunt teeth. The leaves alternate along the stems. Up to 6 inches long and 4 inches wide. Maple-leaved Goosefoot is an annual plant.
Usually no fragrance but occasionally smells fetid.
Other Names:
Hybrid Goosefoot, Mapleleaf Goosefoot, Maple-leaved Gooseweed, Sowbane.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Chenopodium hybridum, also known as hybrid goosefoot, is an annual or perennial plant in the Amaranthaceae family. It is native to North and South America, but has been introduced to other parts of the world. It can reach a height of up to 1 meter and has green, lobed leaves and small, greenish-white flowers that bloom in the summer.

Chenopodium hybridum is often found in a variety of habitats, including cultivated fields, meadows, waste ground, and disturbed soils. It is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, including dry and infertile soils, and is able to colonize in disturbed areas.

Like other Chenopodium species, it contains toxic compounds, such as saponins, and should not be consumed in large quantities. In some cases, it has been reported to cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions. It is not commonly used for food or medicinal purposes, and is considered a weed in agricultural lands. It is generally controlled by means of physical removal or chemical treatment.


Maple-leaved Goosefoot (Chenopodium hybridum) is a plant species that belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. This species is native to North America, and it is commonly found in the eastern and central parts of the continent. Maple-leaved Goosefoot is an annual plant that grows up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

Maple-leaved Goosefoot has distinctively shaped leaves that resemble those of the maple tree. These leaves are dark green and have three to five lobes, which are deeply divided. The plant also produces small, green flowers that bloom in clusters from July to October. These flowers are not particularly showy, but they do attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies.

One of the interesting features of Maple-leaved Goosefoot is its edible seeds. The seeds are small, black, and have a nutty flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are a good source of protein, fiber, and minerals. In fact, some Native American tribes used the seeds as a staple food source.

In addition to its edible seeds, Maple-leaved Goosefoot also has medicinal properties. The plant has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, respiratory problems, and skin irritations. Some studies have also shown that the plant has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Maple-leaved Goosefoot is a hardy plant that can tolerate a variety of growing conditions. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. It is also relatively pest-resistant, making it a low-maintenance addition to gardens and landscapes.

While Maple-leaved Goosefoot is not commonly cultivated for its ornamental value, it can be a striking addition to naturalistic gardens and wildflower meadows. Its unique leaves and green flowers add interest and texture to these types of landscapes.

Maple-leaved Goosefoot is also known by several other common names, including Mapleleaf Goosefoot, Maple-leaved Goosefoot, and Maple-leaved Gooseweed. The species name "hybridum" refers to the fact that the plant is a hybrid of two different species of Chenopodium.

In terms of cultivation, Maple-leaved Goosefoot is not commonly grown in gardens or farms for commercial purposes. However, it is sometimes cultivated by foragers or those interested in edible wild plants. The seeds can be collected by shaking the plants when the seedheads have turned brown and dry. After the seeds are collected, they can be used in a variety of dishes, including bread, porridge, and soup.

Aside from its edible and medicinal uses, Maple-leaved Goosefoot also has ecological value. The plant is a host for several species of moths and butterflies, including the Beet Armyworm Moth and the Painted Lady Butterfly. It also provides habitat and food for small mammals and birds.

One potential downside of Maple-leaved Goosefoot is that it can be weedy and invasive in some areas. While it is not typically considered a major invasive species, it has been known to spread quickly and outcompete native plants in disturbed areas. As with any plant, it is important to research its growth habits and potential impact before introducing it to a new area.

Maple-leaved Goosefoot has a long history of use by Native American tribes for its edible and medicinal properties. For example, the Cherokee used the plant to treat stomach issues, while the Ojibwa used it as a poultice for burns and bruises. The seeds were also an important food source for several tribes, including the Iroquois and Potawatomi.

In addition to its traditional uses, Maple-leaved Goosefoot has also been studied for its potential health benefits. Some studies have found that the plant has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which could make it a useful supplement for reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Maple-leaved Goosefoot is also an interesting plant from a botanical perspective. It is a member of the genus Chenopodium, which includes several other edible and weedy species, such as Quinoa and Lamb's Quarters. Maple-leaved Goosefoot is a hybrid of two different species of Chenopodium, which makes it a unique plant with distinctive characteristics.

In terms of growing Maple-leaved Goosefoot, it is relatively easy to cultivate from seed. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. It is also drought-tolerant and can grow in a variety of soil types. However, as mentioned earlier, it can be invasive in some areas, so it is important to research its potential impact before introducing it to a new area.

Overall, Maple-leaved Goosefoot is a versatile and interesting plant species with a range of uses and benefits. Whether you are interested in foraging for its edible seeds, using it for its medicinal properties, or simply appreciating its unique appearance and ecological value, Maple-leaved Goosefoot is a plant worth learning more about.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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