WSU Extension


Weeds : Lambsquarters, common : Chenopodium album
(revision date: 4/7/2021)

Family: Chenopodiaceae
Cycle: Annual
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Common lambsquarters is typically an upright, branching plant growing one to four feet high from a taproot. The stems are ridged or angular in cross-section and may be tinged with purple. The dull green leaves are alternate with distinct petioles (upper leaves may lack petioles), and typically have wavy to somewhat toothed margins. Leaves are typically broader at the base, tapering gradually to a point. The leaves are grayish and mealy in appearance and are often reddish underneath. Both leaves and stems are hairless. Flowers are small and greenish, occurring in dense clusters on flower spikes at the ends of stems and branches. The closely-related netseed lambsquarters (Chenopodium berlandieri) is very similar in appearance. SPECIAL INFORMATION: Common lambsquarters is edible and is used as a green vegetable in many parts of the world.
Common lambsquarters is a weed of waste and cultivated areas including fields and gardens. It may also occur in lawns.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Reduce weed establishment by maintaining a healthy planting or turf area to provide competition.
  • Cultivation (rototilling or hoeing) will effectively eliminate plants.
  • Hand-pull to eliminate weeds.
  • Mowing to prevent seed production is a very effective means of management. In lawns, mowing regularly at the proper height for the grass species may help minimize weed growth and invasion.
  • Careful digging is useful to manage weed populations. However, digging can carry undesirable weed seed to the surface and foster further germination.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label directions. Glyphosate should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • dichlobenil
  • oryzalin
  • trifluralin
  • products containing diquat
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing triclopyr
Turf areas
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • products containing MCPA
  • products containing MCPP
  • triclopyr
  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
Bare ground areas
  • glyphosate
  • products containing diquat
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr
  • dichlobenil
    - hide images

+ Show larger images

Caption: Common lambsquarters
Photo by: T.W. Miller
Caption: Common lambsquarters with seed head
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Lambsquarters flowers
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Common lambsquarters stem
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Common lambsquarters cotyledon
Photo by: J.A. Kropf
Caption: Common lambsquarters seedling
Photo by: D.G. Swan
Caption: Common lambsquarters young plant
Photo by: T. W. Miller