Crop Protection Online > Pests - Weed biology<br> <sub>Agro-region: Denmark</sub> - Chenopodium album L.
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21.7 2024 undefined

Weed biology
Agro-region: Denmark

Chenopodium album L. Previous page Next page

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Can be mistaken for

Atriplex patula L., which does not have dicotyledon leaves with reddish undersides.


Oblong to lancet-shaped with entire leaf margins. Stalked. Smooth surface. The underside of the cotyledons is reddish. Length approx.10 mm.

True leaves
Egg-shaped to rhomboidal with slightly serrate leaf margins. Stalked. The surface is covered with white sap hairs resembling small, clear Pearls. Length approx. 13 mm.

Mature plant
Fat Hen can become both high (approx. 80 cm) and vigorous, depending on growing conditions. The species is especially known by the “mealy” leaves and the dense flower clusters. The diameter of the flower is approx. 1 mm.Seed production: Up to approx. 20,000 seeds per plant.

Almost circular, often with a projection at the edge. Slightly compressed. The cross section is elliptical. The surface has a wax layer that can easily be rubbed off. At times, remnants of a bowl-shaped perianth are found. Thousand grain weight approx. 1.2 g.


Propagation and dispersal
Only through seeds.

Summer annual.


The species is very frequently found in spring-sown crops throughout Denmark. In open crops, for example Beet, the plant develops vigorously and thus reduces the yield considerably. However, the plant’s influence on yield can differ from year to year in competitive crops, for example grain and Oil-seed Rape, depending on the growing conditions. In seed fields with Red Clovere, Carrot, Poppy and Spring Oil-seed Rape the plant is a problem because it is difficult to separate the seeds.

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Names in different languages

Danish : Gåsefod, hvidmelet
German : Weisser Gänsefuss
English : Fat Hen
Latin : Chenopodium album L.
Norwegian : Meldestokk
Swedish : Svinmålla

Chenopodium album L.: Seedling
Chenopodium album L.: Early stage
Early stage
Chenopodium album L.: Flower
Chenopodium album L.: Mature plant
Mature plant
Chenopodium album L.: Seeds

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