Lambs Quarters Identification:
An annual weed that grows from 1 to 3 feet. The stem is often mealy and red streaked. The leaves are somewhat diamond-shaped, coarsely-toothed and mealy white beneath. The flowers are greenish, inconspicuous, and lacking petals. They grow in clusters at the leaf stems.
Family: Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot family)
Other Names: Pigweed, White Goosefoot, Wild Spinach
Flowers: June – October
Parts Used: Leaves
Habitat: Gardens, fields, waste places, and disturbed soil throughout our area. (Alien – Europe)
Constituents: Oxalic acid
The American Indians ate the leaves to treat stomachaches and prevent scurvy.
A cold tea is used for diarrhea, and a leaf poultice can be used for burns.
Both the foliage and seeds are edible. The greens may be eaten raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable. Eat only the tips and young tender leaves. The seeds may also be eaten raw, or ground into flour during late fall to early winter. The greens are rich in vitamins A and C (richer than spinach). They are also very rich in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. They are also a good source of protein, trace minerals, B-complex vitamins, iron and fiber. (See “Wild Foods For Survival”)
Caution CAUTION: Consuming large quantities and being exposed to sunlight may cause photosensitization in some people.
Lamb’s Quarter is also a wild food.