Plant whose identity seems to be too obscure for me to figure out...
August 12, 2018 4:25 PM   Subscribe

What is the name of this plant and is it edible? Thanks

Pix of flower and leaf
I want to say Lamb's Quarter but SWMBO says no way would I know that. But Ask MeFi will certainly be able to educate me.
posted by ptm to Science & Nature (3 answers total)
Looks like a pigweed (Amaranthus sp.) to me. The leaves are edible as a pot herb.
posted by momus_window at 4:34 PM on August 12, 2018

I dunno what it is but definitely not Lamb's Quarter—the leaf shape is all wrong. Lamb's Quarter is sometimes called Pigweed, but so are a bunch of other plants in Amaranthus. Lamb's Quarter itself is genus Chenopodium, though it is one of the Amaranthaceae. Seek (a plant ID app) identifies this as genus Amaranthus, but can't get to a species-level ID. After doing some searching around for what kinds of pigweeds you get in Washington State, and looking at a few pictures of various pigweed species, I'm going to go with Redroot Pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus. A. retroflexus is from the tropical Americas but is widespread as an invasive plant. Seeds and leaves are both edible and nutritious, but can cause poisoning in cattle and pigs if fed to them in large quantities, due to the high oxalate and nitrate content. Fine for people though, and for farm animals too if fed in moderation.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:02 PM on August 12, 2018

iNaturalist can be good for this stuff, too.
posted by WCityMike at 11:34 AM on August 13, 2018

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