Lambs Quarter/Goose foot Lambs quarters/Goose foot Chenopodium album See the full article with better pictures (HERE) Lambs quarters are an annual plant that can grow up to 7 feet tall (though usually between 4 and 6 feet), it’s a member of the amaranthus family and a close cousin to spinach and chard. It’s high in vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and has a decent amount of iron and protein. The plant can be found world wide even occasionally growing in Antarctica and thrives in fields, clearings and disturbed ground Lambs quarters are fairly easy to identify; it’s an upright plant with alternating triangleish shaped leaves roughly shaped like a goose’s foot (hence one of it’s nicknames). The leaves alternate up the stalk. The leaves are a dull green and as with many members of the amaranthus family it has a white to silver coating on the underside of the leaves. Frequently the plant will look almost dusty from a distance due to the light gray coating on the leaves that make the plant essentially waterproof. If you pour water on the plant, the water will bead up and roll off. It should be noted that late in the year the stems can take a reddish hue, especially in drier areas. The leaves and seeds of the plant are edible; The young leaves at the top of the plant can be eaten raw and have a flavor similar to it’s cousin spinach. Though it does contain oxalic acid, so it shouldn’t be the base of a meal. Cooking it will destroy the oxalic acid, so if you’re using it as a staple food, you will want to cook it in some manner (boiling, steaming and sauteing are usually the preferred methods). Older leaves are still edible, but they are usually fibrous, bitter and contain higher amounts of oxalic acid. Boiling the older leaves for about a half hour and possibly change the water if they are particularly bitter will break down the fibers and destroy the oxalic acid. In fall lambs quarter produce a large amount of tiny black seeds. The seeds are high in protein, but also contain saponins. You will want to soak the seeds overnight to leach out the saponins and then rinse them off once more to get rid of any residue. The seeds can then be completely dried and used as a flour. The flour is high in protein and not bad tasting. Saponins are a natural soap, so the water that the seeds soaked in can be saved and used as an eco-friendly soap that won’t cause algae blooms in nearby water supplies that can kill your water based food sources. While as far as I know there are no poisonous look alikes, there are various versions of the plant. Lambs quarters with a strong smell are usually used as a spice, though still edible they are not nearly as pleasant tasting.