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Chenopodium_capitatum - (L.)Asch.

Common Name Strawberry Blite, Blite goosefoot
Family Chenopodiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The leaves and seeds of all members of this genus are more or less edible. However, many of the species in this genus contain saponins, though usually in quantities too small to do any harm. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down to a large extent in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K]. The plants also contain some oxalic acid, which in large quantities can lock up some of the nutrients in the food. However, even considering this, they are very nutritious vegetables in reasonable quantities. Cooking the plants will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[238].
Habitats Rubbish tips etc in Britain[17].
Range Europe. A rare casual in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Chenopodium_capitatum Strawberry Blite, 	Blite goosefoot


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Blitum_capitatum0.jpg
Chenopodium_capitatum Strawberry Blite, 	Blite goosefoot
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ram-Man

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Chenopodium_capitatum is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Blitum capitatum.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[27, 106]. Used like spinach[2], they are a good source of vitamins C and A[257]. The young leaves are best[85, 172, 183]. Poor quality[74]. The raw leaves have been used in salad mixtures[257], but should only be eaten in small quantities, see the notes above on toxicity. Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 27, 172]. An insipid but sweet flavour[85], they can be added to salads[183]. The fruit is about 12mm in diameter[200]. A red food colouring can be obtained from the fruit[74, 99, 172, 183]. Seed - cooked. It can be ground into a meal and mixed with cereal flours in making bread etc[161, 172]. The seed is small and fiddly, it should be soaked in water overnight and thoroughly rinsed before it is used in order to remove any saponins.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The plant has been used as a lotion for treating black eyes and head bruises[257]. The juice of the seeds and an infusion of the plant has been used to treat lung congestion[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Gold/green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[168]. A red dye is obtained from the fruit, it is used in cosmetics and as a paint[46, 257].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils but disliking shade[1, 200]. It prefers a moderately fertile soil[200]. A very ornamental plant[74], strawberry blite has at times been cultivated for its edible leaves[61].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in situ. Most of the seed usually germinates within a few days of sowing.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Chenopodium capitatumStrawberry Blite, Blite goosefootAnnual0.6 4-8  LMHNM311

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

(L.)Asch.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Jun 27 2011 12:00AM

Today I decided to try both the leaves and the small fruits. The leaves taste a bit like sorrel, except the lemon part. Its a good texture but not a pleasant taste (probably its the oxalic acid). Maybe cooked is better. The fruit tastes the same thing, the same sorrel-like flavour, so also not very pleasant. Also, the fruit was full of seeds, and I don't think you are supposed to eat the seeds raw. Aside the edible part, it is a very beautiful and peculiar plant. Easy to grow (if you take care when transplanting the sensitive seedlings). The seeds take a while to sprout (about 3 weeks). The plants are beautiful with their red fruits! My advice goes for growing many plants close together, as a patch. They grow perfect that way. Takes about 2 months from seed to fruits, if the weather is warm.

   Aug 25 2011 12:00AM

You can buy this plant from victoriana nursery gardens: http://www.victoriananursery.co.uk/vegetable_seeds/strawbini_seed_strawberry_spinach/ the fruit are meant to be sweet and delicious if you let them ripen rite up.

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