Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Berlandier's Goosefoot, Pitseed Goosefoot, Southern Huauzontle
Chenopodium berlandieri

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Chenopodium (ken-oh-POH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: berlandieri (bur-lan-dee-ER-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Chenopodium berlandieri var. berlandieri

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BajaBlue On Sep 12, 2009, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is an ancient pre-hispanic food eaten by the native mexican
tribes. Eaten as a fresh or cooked green vegetable, as a cooked grain porridge or ground into a flour.

Succulent leaves resemble lambsquarter and are eaten raw when young.

Thrives in hot weather without bolting.

When the plant matures the leaves turn fiery red and can be harvested with the immature seed head for braising.

The bright red color is retained after cooking. (30-40 days for raw greens; 60-100 days for cooked greens and tops)

Neutral saya On Mar 6, 2005, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

MEXICAN SPICES - HUAZONTLE : "..Looking like an elongated version of broccoli, and with a similar flavor, this pre-Hispanic plant was first prepared by the Aztecs and other indigenous people of Central Mexico. The rough outer leaves are always removed, and the tender tips are usually served stuffed with cheese, batter-dipped and fried. Alternatively, they can be sauteed with chopped onion and garlic..." ..Plants For A Future: Database Search Results :"..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... 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...".

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