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Home > Features > Living Well > Food > Wild Garden > Wild Lambsquarters (Chenopodium Album)

GreenSense- The Wild Garden

Wild Lambsquarters- Chenopodium Album

Wild Lambsquarters- Chenopodium Album
Wild Lambsquarters
Chenopodium Album

Also known as Goosefoot or Pigweed (see Note, below), Lambsquarters likes to grow in disturbed ground- you'll find it along roadsides, in piles of topsoil, recently bulldozed vacant lots, plowed fields, and especially, in gardens.

It's easy to identify, thanks to the distinctive goosefoot shape of the leaves, with their light dusting of whitish crystals. The leaves are also distinguished by their ability to make water "bead" up and run off.

Most people, finding it in their garden, pull it out and discard it. They might do better to toss the veggies and save the pigweed! Lambsquarters is a lot like spinach, except that it tastes better and has more vitamins (huge amounts of vitamin A), and minerals. We welcome its appearance in the garden and think of it as the first garden green vegetable.

Pick lambsquarters when it's young- well before it flowers. To prepare it, you need do nothing more than rinse it and add the tender leaves to a green salad. It's delicious cooked, too - just steam it lightly, saute briefly, or add it to a stir-fry.

Note: Lambsquarters is not the only weed called "pigweed". Depending on your locality, various Amaranth species (Amaranthus) and possibly other plants are called "pigweed". Many are edible, but some may not be. Make sure that you positively identify any plant you intend to eat by its characteristics, not just by its name!






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