Open the Advanced Search

Nettle-leaved Goosefoot

Chenopodium murale

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Fields, sand dunes, seaside, wasteland.

Green, no petals
Loose leafless flower clusters. 5 stamens. Wind pollinated.
A shiny black, flattened, round to egg-shaped seed, up to 2mm in length. The seeds mature from August to October.
An annual that is similar in appearance to Maple-leaved Goosefoot (Chenopodium hybridum) but is more mealy. The leaves are smooth, broadly triangular and toothed.
Other Names:
Australian-spinach, Nettleleaf Goosefoot, Salt-green, Sowbane.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Chenopodium murale, also known as nettle-leaved goosefoot, is an annual plant in the Amaranthaceae family. It is native to Europe and western Asia, but it has been introduced to other parts of the world. The plant can reach a height of up to 1 meter and has green, nettle-like leaves and small, greenish-white flowers that bloom in the summer.

Chenopodium murale is often found in waste ground, disturbed soil and cultivated areas, it can quickly colonize and become a weed. It is considered a common weed in many parts of Europe, North America, and Australia. It contains toxic compounds, such as saponins, and it 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. Cultivated in some regions for its leaves that can be used as a vegetable, it is not as widely used as other Chenopodium species. The plant is considered a weed and it is generally controlled in agricultural lands.


Nettle-leaved goosefoot, scientifically known as Chenopodium murale, is a common weed found in many parts of the world. This annual plant belongs to the family Chenopodiaceae, which also includes other well-known plants such as beets, spinach, and quinoa.

Appearance and Habitat

Nettle-leaved goosefoot typically grows to a height of 30 to 60 centimeters and has a branching, erect stem. The leaves are alternate and arranged in a spiral pattern, with the lower leaves being larger and more nettle-like, hence the name "nettle-leaved." The flowers are small and green and are arranged in dense clusters at the end of the stem. Nettle-leaved goosefoot is a common weed found in fields, gardens, and waste areas.

Nutritional and Medicinal Value

Although it is considered a weed, nettle-leaved goosefoot has some nutritional and medicinal value. The leaves and young shoots of the plant are edible and can be cooked and eaten like spinach or used in soups and stews. They are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as iron, calcium, and potassium.

In traditional medicine, nettle-leaved goosefoot has been used to treat various ailments. The plant has been found to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and has been used to alleviate pain and swelling associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Environmental Impact

Nettle-leaved goosefoot can be a problematic weed, as it can compete with crops and other plants for resources and can reduce their growth and yield. It is also a host plant for various pests and diseases, which can cause further damage to crops.


There are several methods for controlling nettle-leaved goosefoot, including hand pulling, hoeing, and the use of herbicides. However, as with any weed, prevention is often the best method of control. Maintaining healthy soil and using crop rotation can help prevent the growth and spread of nettle-leaved goosefoot and other weeds.

Nettle-leaved goosefoot is a common weed that can be found in many parts of the world. Although it can be a nuisance, the plant has some nutritional and medicinal value and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. By understanding its growth and habits, we can better control its spread and minimize its impact on crops and other plants.

More Information

Nettle-leaved goosefoot is a versatile plant that has been used for various purposes throughout history. For example, the seeds have been used as a food source in some cultures, and the plant has been used as a dye for textiles. In addition, nettle-leaved goosefoot has been used as a green manure crop, as it can help improve soil health and fertility.

One interesting feature of nettle-leaved goosefoot is its ability to accumulate nitrates from the soil. While this can be beneficial for crop growth, it also means that the plant can become toxic if consumed in large quantities. For this reason, it is important to limit the amount of nettle-leaved goosefoot that is consumed, and to avoid eating plants that have been grown in soil that has been heavily fertilized with nitrates.

In some regions, nettle-leaved goosefoot is considered an invasive species, as it can spread rapidly and outcompete native plants. This can have negative effects on biodiversity and ecosystem health. As a result, it is important to monitor and control the spread of this plant in areas where it is not native.

Nettle-leaved goosefoot is just one of many species in the genus Chenopodium, which includes over 150 species of plants found in various regions of the world. Many of these species are used for food, medicine, and other purposes.

For example, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a popular food crop that is native to the Andes Mountains in South America. Quinoa is high in protein and is considered a superfood due to its many nutritional benefits. Other Chenopodium species, such as Chenopodium album and Chenopodium berlandieri, are also used as food crops in various parts of the world.

In addition to their nutritional value, Chenopodium species have also been used for medicinal purposes. For example, Chenopodium ambrosioides, also known as Mexican tea, has been used to treat various ailments including digestive problems, respiratory infections, and skin conditions.

Chenopodium species are also of interest to scientists due to their ability to adapt to different environments and grow under harsh conditions such as drought and high salinity. This adaptability has led to research into the potential use of Chenopodium species in the development of new crop varieties that can withstand climate change and other environmental challenges.

In conclusion, nettle-leaved goosefoot is just one of many interesting and valuable species in the Chenopodium genus. These plants have a rich cultural and ecological history, and have been used for food, medicine, and other purposes for centuries. By studying these plants and their potential uses, we can learn more about their value and potential benefits for human health and the environment.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map