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California Goosefoot
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Chenopodium californicum
  

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About California Goosefoot (Chenopodium californicum) Blitum californicum (Syn. Chenopodium californicum) is a species of flowering plant in the amaranth family known by the common names California Goosefoot and (ambiguously) "Indian lettuce". It is native to California and Baja California where it can be found below 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in open areas in a number of habitat types, such as grassland, chaparral, desert, and montane. This is a perennial herb producing a number of decumbent to erect stems which approach a meter in maximum height when growing upright. It grows from a thick, fleshy caudex. When there are many stems the plant may form a clump or mat. The leaves grow on long petioles and are triangular or arrowhead-shaped and up to about 10 centimeters long. The edges are deeply and sharply toothed. The inflorescences are spherical clusters dotted along an inflorescence-like spike. Each dense cluster contains several rounded flowers, with each flower a series of flat lobes covering the developing fruit. The fruit is a reddish utricle layered around the surface of the seed. Uses. California goosefoot was used for a variety of purposes by Native Americans including use as a medicine and a source of soap, in addition to the use of the seeds for flour and the leaves and shoots as a cooked vegetable.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
-3' - 7481'

Annual Precip. ?
5.5" - 51.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.95"

Coldest Month ?
30.6° F - 57.3° F

Hottest Month ?
58.4° F - 80.6° F

Humidity ?
0.75 vpd - 30.73 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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