Chenopodium bonus-henricus


Sp. Pl. 1: 218. 1753.

Common names: Good King Henry allgood fat-hen wild spinach
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 279. Mentioned on page 276.

Stems erect to ascending, unbranched, 2.5–7.5 dm, somewhat viscid and farinose. Leaves nonaromatic; petiole 1–12 cm; blade triangular to broadly hastate, 4.5–10 × 3–9 cm, base truncate, cordate, or hastate, margins entire, apex acute (acuminate), adaxially sparsely farinose. Inflorescences: dense glomerules sessile on terminal and axillary spikes, spikes 5–19 cm; glomerules 3–5 mm diam., flowers developing at about same time; bracts absent. Flowers: perianth segments connate into 0.4–0.6 mm tube, lobes oblong or elliptic, 0.8–1.5 × 0.5–1.1 mm, apex obtuse, rounded or truncate, scarcely abaxially keeled throughout, glabrous, not covering fruit at maturity; stamens (4–)5; stigmas 2–4. Achenes obovoid; pericarp adherent, ± smooth. Seeds obovoid or rotund, 1.5–2 mm in diam. margins not rounded; seed coat black, rugose.

Phenology: Fruiting early summer–fall.
Habitat: Waste areas and cultivated ground
Elevation: 0-200 m


V4 508-distribution-map.gif

Introduced; Alta., N.B., N.S., Ont., Que., Conn., Ill., Ky., Maine, Mass., Mich., N.J., N.Y., Pa., R.I., native to mountains of Europe.


Chenopodium bonus-henricus is widely grown throughout the temperate regions, occasionally escaping.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Steven E. Clemants +  and Sergei L. Mosyakin +
Linnaeus +
Undefined sect. Agathophytum +
Good King Henry +, allgood +, fat-hen +  and wild spinach +
Alta. +, N.B. +, N.S. +, Ont. +, Que. +, Conn. +, Ill. +, Ky. +, Maine +, Mass. +, Mich. +, N.J. +, N.Y. +, Pa. +, R.I. +  and native to mountains of Europe. +
0-200 m +
Waste areas and cultivated ground +
Fruiting early summer–fall. +
Weedy +  and Introduced +
Blitum sect. Agathophyton +
Chenopodium bonus-henricus +
Chenopodium sect. Agathophytum +
species +