Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Chenopodiastrum murale, Nettleleaf Goosefoot

Nettleleaf Goosefoot has green or greenish-yellow flowers which are mostly in small axillary and terminal flowering stems in terminal panicles. Chenopodiastrum murale Nettleleaf Goosefoot has green leaves with a small stem or petiole. Leaf shapes are variable; triangular, ovate or rhombic-ovate and the margins are irregularly dentate as noted in the photograph. Chenopodiastrum murale Nettleleaf Goosefoot is an annual that blooms primarily from spring through fall but year-round in warmer geographic locals. Chenopodiastrum murale Nettleleaf Goosefoot is a forb or herb plant that grows upright or erect with several branches. The plants are mostly glabrous or young plants are sparsely farinose. Chenopodiastrum murale Nettleleaf Goosefoot is found in various locations and situations throughout its large geographical in North America, USA and well into Canada, southward to Mexico and South America. It is found almost world-wide in temperate areas to tropical and sub-tropical regions. Chenopodiastrum murale

Scientific Name: Chenopodiastrum murale
Common Name: Nettleleaf Goosefoot

Also Called: Aheahea, Australian-Spinach, Mock Goosefoot, Nettle-Leaf Goosefoot, Pigweed, Sowbane, Wall Goosefoot, Spanish (Cenizo; Chenopodio des Murs, Chual, Hediondilla, Hierba del Perro, Quelite Cenizo)

Family: Chenopodiaceae, Goosefoot Family (now as sub-family Chenopodioideae in the Amaranthaceae Family).

Synonyms: (Chenopodium lucidum, Chenopodium murale, Chenopodium triangulare, Chenopodium urbicum)

Status: Introduced from Europe.

Duration: Annual

Size: 1.5 to 2(3) feet (1-6(-10) dm)

Growth Form: Forb/herb plants upright or erect, branched, plants mostly glabrous or young plants sparsely farinose, proximal branches decumbent.

Leaves: Green; with stem (petiole), leaf shape variable, triangular, ovate or rhombic-ovate; margins dentate.

Flower Color: Green or greenish-yellow; the flowers are mostly in small axillary and terminal glomerules which are found in terminal panicles; fruit is a tiny greenish achene, seeds are blackish.

Flowering Season: March to October or November or throughout the year.

Elevation: 150 to 8,000 feet (45 to 2,438 m) or higher.

Habitat Preferences: Roadsides, fields, pastures, gardens, landscape areas, adjacent to rail road tracks, waste areas, rocky hillsides, both urban and agricultural places; multiple plant communities across its wide geographic range, woodlands, prairies.

Recorded Range: Nettleleaf Goosefoot is found in various locations and situations throughout its large geographical in North America, USA and well into Canada, southward to Mexico and South America. It is found almost world-wide in temperate areas to tropical and sub-tropical regions.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Chenopodiastrum murale.

U.S. Weed Information: In North America Chenopodiastrum murale can be weedy or invasive according to the following authoritative sources: Weeds of the West. Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with Cooperative Extension Services, University of Wyoming. Laramie, Wyoming.
Plants included here may become weedy or invasive.

Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Wetland Indicator: In North America Chenopodiastrum murale has the following wetland designations:
Arid West, FACU; Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, FACU; Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, FACU; Great Plains, FACU; Midwest, FACU; Northcentral & Northeast, FACU and the Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACU.
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands.

Genus Information: * Note genus information is for Chenopodium: In North America there are 43 species for Chenopodium. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 150 accepted species names and a further 394 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 17 species of Chenopodium, California has 27 species, Nevada has 19 species, New Mexico has 24 species, Texas has 18 species, Utah has 21 species. All data approximate and subject to revision.

Comments:Chenopodiastrum murale, Nettleleaf Goosefoot is one of the most common summer plants and one of the most common species in the genus in the world. It is a common summer and winter weed throughout a large part of its range in sub-temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see: Lambsquarters, Chenopodium album.

The original genus "Chenopodium" is from the Greek word "chen" meaning goose and pous meaning foot or podion, "a little foot", a reference to the shape of the leaves in some species. The species epithet "murale" is derived from the Latin word murale meaning growing on walls.
The genus Chenopodium was published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.

Nettleleaf Goosefoot has been used for food by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.
  • Cahuilla Food, Vegetable, Boiled shoots and leaves eaten as greens.
  • Mohave Food, Vegetable, Young shoots boiled as greens.
  • Papago Food, Vegetable, Unspecified, Stalks eaten as greens in the summer. Seeds used for food.
  • Pima Food, Staple, Seeds parched, ground and eaten as a pinole in combination with other meal.

  • See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

    Date Profile Completed: 09/03/2019
    Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, Arizona Flora, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California; as Chenopodium murale.
    U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search; as Chenopodium murale. - (accessed 09/01/2019)
    The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/01/2019).
    Stanley L. Welsh, Clifford W. Crompton & Steven E. ClemantsFNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Chenopodiaceae | Chenopodium 12. Chenopodium murale Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 219. 1753. ; Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
    Steven E. Clemants & Nuri Benet-Pierce 2012, Chenopodium murale, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 01, 2019.
    Wikipedia contributors, 'Chenopodiastrum murale', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 March 2019, 02:08 UTC, [accessed 1 September 2019]
    University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources; Weed Gallery; Integrated Pest Management Program; Goosefoot Family: Chenopodiaceae; Nettleleaf goosefoot (Chenopodium murale) (accessed 09/03/2019).
    2004-2019 Burke Museum Herbarium, University of Washington: Chenopodiastrum murale, nettleleaf goosefoot, wall goosefoot, sowbane
    Michael Charters, California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations - A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology Compiled by Michael L. Charters - (accessed 09/03/2019) - Excellent site.
    SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information, (accessed 09/01/2019).
    CABI, 2019. Chenopodiastrum murale, (nettleleaf goosefoot)In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. - (accessed 09/01/2019).