Chenopodium album – Lamb’s Quarters

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Lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) is a highly nutritious annual that is closely related to spinach and quinoa.
Lamb’s quarters, also known as “pigweed” and “wild spinach”, can be found in gardens and other disturbed areas. It prefers nitrogen-rich soil and full sun.
Lamb’s quarters have leaves that are variable in shape. The first set of leaves are opposite. Other leaves are alternate. Young leaves have a mealy, white substance on them. Flowers are small and light green. The plant typically grows 2-3 feet tall but can grow up to 6 feet tall in ideal conditions.
Lamb’s quarters have been cultivated for so long that the native range is unknown, but they are thought to originate in Europe. Lamb’s quarters is considered a weed in most of the U.S.
Leaves are edible raw or cooked and have a taste reminiscent of spinach. Leaves are high in calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Seeds can be dried and added to baked goods or cooked like quinoa. Seeds are high in protein, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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