Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
20. Chenopodium hircinum Schrad. Fig. 12C
Schrader, Index Sem. Horti. Gott.: 2 (1833). - Described from Brazil.
D Ram Gåsefod . F pukinsavikka. N bukkemelde. S bockmålla .
Therophyte (summer-annual). Up to 70 cm, usually stinking when fresh. Stem pale, striped with green, without red spots in the axils, erect to ascending, branched. Leaves with petiole half as long as to as long as the blade; blade broadly ovate to triangular or sometimes ovate, usually about as wide as long or even wider, almost always distinctly 3-lobed, 1-5(-8) cm, pure-green to yellowish-green, sometimes distinctly farinose; basal lobes entire or with I large tooth; midlobe up to half the length of the blade or slightly longer, either parallel-sided, with a few coarse teeth and ± obtuse at apex or (especially in upper leaves) tapering, entire and acute to acuminate.
Inflorescences terminal, usually leafy; bracts narrow, 3-lobed to lanceolate; glomerules small, lax. Flowers as in C. berlandieri . Seed orbicular in outline, 1-1.3 mm; seed-coat honeycomb-pitted. - Late autumn.
Distribution. A casual alien brought in with wool, oilseed, birdseed, grain and ballast. - D first record 1908, most records from 1916-42 and 1957-66; NJy Nørre Sundby 1929, �lborg 1957, 1963, ØJy Horsens 1917, Vejle 1957, Viborg 1960, �rhus several records 1916-72, SJy Christiansfeld 1998, Sønderborg 1938, �benr� 1939, FyL Assens 1917, Middelfart 1960, Sjæ numerous records from c. 14 localities, mainly in the København area, latest Kastrup 1966, LFM Guldborg 1937, Nakskov 1958, Nykøbing 1958, 1961, 1965, Stubbekøbing 1961, 1963. N Ak Oslo 1902 (ballast), 1969 (oid ballast soil), AA Lillesand 1906 (ballast), Ho Kvam 1936, Odda 1936, ST Skaun 1930 (with grain from Argentina); Ro Karmøy 1930 (determination not confirmed). S Sk records from c. 10 places 1907-43, Kim Oskarshamn 1912 (ballast), SmI Jönköping 1922, BhG numerous localities in the Göteborg area 1923-63, Uddevalla 1937, 1939, Vg Skövde 1911, Srm Nacka numerous records 1916-32, Nyköping 1921, Upl Järfälla 1917, Stockholm 1914, Uppsala \9ll,MpdTimrk 1901,1903,1953. Also recorded from Hl Fjärås (Blom 1961) but the specimens are not available, F V Turku 1974 and U Helsinki 1930-38, 1964.
South America; in Europe anthropochorous.
Biology. In Norden only rarely flowering (only in the southernmost parts), and never forming ripe fruits.
Variation. Very variable in its native area, especially in size and shape of leaves. The Nordic material can be roughly divided into four groups: (a) leaves large, with parallel-sided, dentate and ± truncate midlobe; (b) leaves small, with parallel-sided, dentate midlobe; (c) leaves large, with tapering, ± entire midlobe; (d) leaves small, with tapering, entire midlobe. The same pattern can be seen in Central European plants. This may reflect import from different areas; perhaps different races are present, but the variation of C. hircinum in South America has not been sufficiently studied, and it is premature to distinguish taxa on the basis of European adventive material.
According to several counts from America, C. hircinum is a tetraploid with 2n=36; its relationship with C. berlandieri , which is also a tetraploid, should be investigated.
Similar taxa. C. pilcomayense (rare casual). Sometimes mistaken for C. ficifolium (13); C. hircinum is often strongly farinose and then more greyish; it usually stinks and the midlobe of the leaf-blades has a shorter midlobe (if longer, then the lobe is entire and more gradually tapering to the apex). - Plants of type (c) may be difficult to distinguish from C. berlandieri (17; see that species).