Biological Name:

Lambsquarters: Chenopodium album

Natural Habitat:

Lambsquarters: The natural habitat for lambsquarters is fields, gardens, waste places, and roadsides. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but has been introduced to North America, where it is now widespread.


Lamb’s-quarters is a type of flowering plant that is commonly found in fields and other grassy areas. It is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family which also includes plants such as kochia and pigweed. Lamb’s-quarters is an annual or perennial plant that produces small white or green flowers and clusters of seeds. The plant is often used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. It is also known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including wet or dry soils. In some areas lamb’s-quarters is considered a weed because of its ability to invade cultivated areas and cause allergies and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is lambsquarters good for?
A: Lambsquarter is an important source of food that can be considered a key staple, while at the same time it is also an extremely valuable medicine. When the leaves are chewed into a green paste and applied to the body, it makes a great poultice for insect bites, minor scrapes, injuries, inflammation, and sunburn.

Q: Is lambsquarters annual?
A: Abundant throughout North America, common lambsquarters is a rapidly growing summer annual that prefers rich soils, but will grow in almost any disturbed soil. Found along roads, in open fields, streambeds, lawns and vegetable gardens. Plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall.

Q: How do you get rid of lambsquarters naturally?
A: During the early stages of its life cycle, common lambsquarters can be managed by mechanical methods, such as hoeing or cultivation, to control small populations. Mulches, such as black plastic or straw over newspaper, are effective to control this weed in backyard gardens.

Q: Is lambsquarters good to eat?
A: Also known as pigweed, wild spinach, or goosefoot, lambsquarters plants are highly nutritious, providing a fair amount of a number of vitamins and minerals, including iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, and generous amounts of vitamin A and C, to name just a few. This edible weed is also high in protein and fiber.

Q: Is lambsquarters more nutritious than spinach?
A: Young lambsquarters can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach. It contains more iron, protein, vitamin B2, and vitamin C than either spinach or cabbage.

Q: Is lambsquarters high in oxalates?
A: Despite his enthusiasm for wild foods in general, a terrible experience with kidney stones gives Muskat pause about eating too much lambsquarters due to its extremely high oxalic acid content (at 300,000 ppm, the highest of any plant measured), though he says that my Azerbaijani host mother’s method of pre-boiling …

Q: Is pigweed and lambsquarters the same thing?
A: lamb’s quarters, (Chenopodium album), also called pigweed, annual weedy plant of the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae), of wide distribution in Asia, Europe, and North America. It can grow up to 3 metres (about 10 feet) but is usually a smaller plant.

Q: Do cows eat lambsquarters?
A: Common lambsquarters also contains oxalic acid and is poisonous to sheep and swine when eaten in large quantities over a long period. The plant causes severe taint in milk when eaten by dairy cows but is generally regarded as useful feed for dry cattle and sheep.

Q: Is lambsquarters native to North America?
A: Native Distribution: Throughout North America, except Arctic islands. Native Habitat: Cultivated land, disturbed sites, and roadsides.

Q: Is lambsquarters invasive?
A: Lambsquarters is edible, but still very invasive. Lambsquarters reproduce only by seed. Most germination occurs early spring, but there is also some summer germination. Average seed production is 72,500 seeds per plant.

Q: Is lambsquarters poisonous?
A: Some chemicals in the plant (saponins in the seed, and oxalates, nitrates and sulfates in the leaves) are mildly toxic if eaten often or in large quantities, but they can be easily removed by cooking. The greens can also be dried or blanched and frozen and the bunches with tiny green flowers are also edible.

Q: How do I get rid of lambsquarters?
A: Large populations may be controlled by application of herbicides specific to labelled crops. Commonly used selective herbicides containing the active ingredient dicamba effectively control this weed, especially during early stages of growth.

Q: What herbicide kills lambsquarters?
A: Glyphosate, Weeds, and Crops Acetochlor provides fair to good early-season control of common lambsquarters, but needs to be tank-mixed with another effective PRE herbicide or followed with a POST herbicide application for the most effective control.

Q: What is lambsquarters allergy?
A: The goosefoot (Lamb’s quarters) has been found to be a moderate producer of weed pollen. Specifically, in the United States (US), this plant has been found to be a significant trigger of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Additionally, this weed is also claimed to be a crucial airborne allergen in mid-Europe (2).

Q: What spray kills lambsquarters?
A: Mix 6 tablespoons of a concentrated herbicide containing 18 percent glyphosate and . 73 percent diquat with 1 gallon of water in a sprayer tank after pulling the lambsquarters. Spray the area the lambsquarters grew in until wet. You can also spray lambsquarters with herbicide until they reach 6 inches tall.

Q: Where is lambsquarters found?
A: Common lambsquarters, a broadleaf plant, is among the most common summer annuals. It is found throughout California up to an elevation of 5900 feet (1800 m) and inhabits agricultural land and other disturbed areas. Generally common lambsquarters is considered edible.

Q: How do you identify lambsquarters?
A: Since lamb’s quarters and orache both are variable plants, the best way to distinguish them is by the flowers and seeds. Lamb’s quarter’s flowers are rounded or oval, while the female flowers of orache have two triangular- or diamond-shaped bracteoles. These bracteoles eventually enclose the seeds.

Q: Is lambsquarters related to spinach?
A: Lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) is a familiar weed in fields and along roadsides, but it’s also a versatile and delicious leafy vegetable. It is related to several other vegetables, including close-cousin quinoa, along with beets, spinach, orach and epazote.

Q: Is quinoa related to lambsquarters?
A: Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) is a close relative of quinoa and is generally considered a famine food. It was once a popular green but lost favor after spinach was introduced to Europeans around the 16th century. Although the plant is dense in nutrients, it can be mildly toxic if eaten in often or large quantities.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.