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If you have hay fever, you know that the pollen levels are high right now.  There are a lot of plants pumping out that pollen for the bees and butterflies.  It is all part of the way the plant species continues.  When we give our pollen information on television, we usually try to include what the highest pollen producers are at the time.  Lately, our pollen report has included Ragweed….


and Chenopods. But what the heck is a Chenopod?  It is any member of the goosefoot family…. So named because the leaves sometimes remind people of a goose’s foot!  (Cheno is Greek for goose and pod means foot)

The Chenopod family includes amaranth, pigweed, waterhemp, russian thistle (also known as tumbleweed), and lambsquarters.

Many of the weeds look alike, especially when they are young. You can take a quiz to try to identify some by clicking here.

You can read more on identifying these weeds by clicking here.  It will take you to the Iowa State Extension publication store where you can download a pdf.

While we consider these weeds and yank them out of our gardens at every opportunity, these plants have been around for a very long time.  From the Office of the  State Archaeologist, I found an article saying that there is evidence of goosefoot in North America from 3,800 years ago!  You can read more about that here.

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Eileen Loan


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