Chenopodium album complex
(C. berlandieri)

Stinking Goosefoot

G. F. Ledingham Herbarium

The Flora of Canada describes a Chenopodium album complex containing six "microspecies", with C. album as the type.  One of these microspecies, C. berlandieri = C. dacoticum, is considered a separate species by Flora of Alberta.  The plant depicted here is C. berlandieri.

Flora of Alberta distinguishes C. berlandieri from C. album according to:

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Album Characteristics
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taller plant, without marked odour

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leaves green above, mealy beneath

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blades ovate to lanceolate, usually with several teeth along each side

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seeds not pitted

 

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Berlandieri Characteristic
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low plant with an offensive odour

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leaves yellowish green, densely white-mealy

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blades ovate to rhombic, entire or sinuate

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seeds pitted

The rest of the points in the keys leading to Chenopodium album are as follows:

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Album Characteristics
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leaves small, linear to ovate, entire or with small teeth or lobes; NOT large, broadly ovate, with 2 or 3 large triangular lobes or teeth on each side

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flower clusters both terminal and axillary

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upper clusters of flowers longer than the leaves

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calyx not fleshy even in fruit

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calyx usually greenish; NOT bright red and strawberry-like

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calyx lobes keeled

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stamens 5

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pericarp rather firmly attached to the seeds

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seeds horizontal in the pericarps

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seeds 1-1.5 mm wide

 

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Chenopodium Characteristics
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herbs or low spineless shrubs

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stems scarcely fleshy, not jointed

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plants neither spiny nor with spine-tipped leaves

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plants may be glabrous, scurfy or pubescent; but NOT with long, soft hairs

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leaves slender, elongate, mostly alternate; NOT scale-like, opposite

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leaves alternate

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leaves not circular in cross section

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leaves not fleshy, sometimes linear but usually wider, flat, often toothed or lobed, usually scurfy or pubescent

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flowers not sunk into a fleshy stem

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no flowers with enclosing bracts

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fruiting calyx not developing horizontal scarious wings

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calyx lobes not forming slender hooked spines, but may be horned or narrowly winged

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calyx with 3-5 sepals

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flowers perfect

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stamens usually over 3

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embryo annular

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fruit largely included in the calyx lobes

 

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Chenopodiaceae Characteristics
(Not all these points apply to all genera in Chenopodiaceae, but they all do apply to genus Chenopodium.)
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herbs

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plants terrestrial, but sometimes growing in marshy places

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plants not parasitic on trees, rooted in soil or water

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plants with stems or stemless, but with more than one pair of leaves

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leaves alternate, lower ones sometimes opposite

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leaves without stipules

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leaves not compound and not very deeply divided

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leaves not orbicular or reniform

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flowers small, numerous, greenish

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flowers not subtended by scarious bracts

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plants mostly with perfect flowers and these not in catkins (often in dense clusters)

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flowers with only one floral ring, with sepals but not petals

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perianth segments greenish

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perianth segments 2-5

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sepals herbaceous or fleshy

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ovary superior

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flower hypogynous

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styles 2-3 or of 2-3 branches

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pistil solitary, simple or compound

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ovary and capsule 1-loculed

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ovary or its locules with only 1 or 2 ovules

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fruit dry when ripe