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Oak-leaved Goosefoot

Oxybasis glauca

  • Name also: Oak-leaf Goosefoot, Oak-leaved Goose Foot
  • Latin synonym: Chenopodium glaucum
  • Family: Amaranth Family – Amaranthaceae
    (formerly Goosefoot Family – Chenopodiaceae)
  • Growing form: Annual herb.
  • Height: 7–40 cm (2.8–16 in.)
  • Flower: Regular, small, ca. 1 mm (0.04 in.) across. Perianth consists of 3 to 5 segments united at the base, hairless, having membranous margins and rounded tips. Flowers borne in small, dense axillary clusters. Carpels fused, gynoecium 2–3-styled. Stamens usu. 3.
  • Leaves: Alternate, short-stalked. Blade ovate to triangular, upper surface green, sparsely hairy, underside bluish-green to grey, and densely covered in glandular hairs (mealy). Margins shallowly toothed or sinuate.
  • Fruit: Roundish, thin-walled achene.
  • Habitat: Gardens, manure heaps, rubbish tips, seashores.
  • Flowering time: July–September.

The species within subfamily Chenopodioideae are difficult to distinguish between. They often include several varieties whose identification usually requires the use of a microscope. One of the important distinguishing characters is the texture of the seed-coat. The genus is easily confused with oraches (Atriplex spp.). However, the latter have unisexual flowers and characteristic fruit-enclosing bracts.

Oak-leaved goosefoot has gained its name from the shape of its leaves which resemble that of many oaks (Quercus spp.). The specific epithet glaucum derives from the bluish-green underside of the leaves, caused by a dense covering of glandular hairs. The stem is hairless and green- or sometimes red-striped.

Oak-leaved goosefoot is an annual that is favoured by human influence and thrives on nitrogen-rich soil. It is often encountered on manure-heaps and in rubbish tips.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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