Chenopodium bonus-henricus L.,

Jonsell, B., Karlsson, 2005, Chenopodiaceae - Fumariaceae (Chenopodium), Flora Nordica 2, pp. 4-31: 10

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Chenopodium bonus-henricus L.


3. Chenopodium bonus-henricus L. 

Figs 2C, 5A

Linnaeus, Sp. pi.: 218 (1753). -

Type: Linnaean Herbarium 313.1 (LINN) lectotype, sei. by Jonsell & Jarvis, Nordic J. Bot. 14:155(1994)


D Stolthenriks Gåsefod. F hyvänheikinsavikka. N stolt henrik.

S lungrot.

Hemicryptophyte. Perennial, 10-80 cm; young parts brownish, somewhat sticky, farinose, later ± glabrous. Taproot up to 1.5 cm thick. Stems often several, subangular, brownish to yellowish green, up to 1 cm thick, erect or ascending, almost unbranched. Lower leaves with up to 15 cm long petiole; blade broadly triangular, 3-12 cm; base hastate to subsagittate; margin somewhat undulate, usually entire but sometimes with several large outward-pointing teeth. Middle leaves with much shorter petiole; blade with hastate base. Bracts ovate to lanceolate; margin entire.

Inflorescence terminal, panicle-like, fairly dense and narrow, of subsessile flowers in small clusters on short branches which are subtended by bracts only in the lowermost part. Flowers dimorphic. Terminal flowers bisexual, with 5 tepals and 5 stamens. Lateral flowers bisexual or female, with 3-5 tepals; stamens, if present, 2-4. Tepals connate half-way or less; free part narrow, not contiguous, with narrow membranous margin and lobed apex, not keeled. Stigmas 2 or 3, 0.8-2 mm. Nut usually falling with the perianth; pericarp adherent to seed. Seed horizontal in apical flowers, vertical in lateral ones, broadly ovate in outline (ratio length/width c. 1.2), 1.5-2.2 mm; edge rounded; seed-coat dark brown to blackish red, dull, somewhat rugulose. - Mid-summer.

Chenopodium bonus-henricus 

Chenopodium chenopodioides 

2n=36 (D Sjce, S Sk 2). - [2n=36]

Distribution. Nem-BNem(-LAlp). Alt. N SF 1100 m. - Formerly grown for food (used like spinach) and for medicine (for both humans and cattle); after a period of neglect now again cultivated on a small scale. An archaeophyte at least in the south, but in many areas declining; in some areas fairly recently arrived. - D at least formerly fairly common to scattered, but rare in VJy; declining, except perhaps in Brn. N archaeophytic mainly in inland areas in the southeast, locally extending west to SF (inner and middle Sogn); in Ho Bergen ruderal; since the 1980's expanding with garden ornamentals in He Tolga. S mostly fairly common north to BhG, Vg, Nrk, southeastern Vsm and Upl, but with large gaps in the southwestern uplands (SmI, southern Vg) and rapidly declining in HI; further north rare and declining to southern Vrm, southeastern Dir and eastern His; Mpd Sundsvall 1909, TL Jukkasjärvi (Kiruna) 1909. F A still in many places but rapidly declining during the 1970 ’s-90’ s; formerly scattered, and sometimes established, also in the southwestern mainland but at present probably only in V Vihti; casual further north to EP Kristiinankaupunki, Vaasa, PS Kuopio, Iisalmi, Kn Hyrynsalmi and OP Oulu, mainly a wartime immigrant, or brought in with grain.

Europe, especially the central parts and in the mountains.

Habitat. Usually on open, fairly dry, often trampled ground; nitrophilous. Mainly near habitations (especially at farmyards and near cow-houses) but also at ruins, in churchyards, along roads and in pastures; in some areas also a garden and town weed.