Chenopodium foliosum Ascherson, 1864
Syn.: Blitum virgatum Linnaeus
Common names: Leafy Goosefoot, Strawberry spinach, Blite [En], Epinard-fraise, Chenopode fraise [Fr], (Rode) aardbeispinazie [Nl], Echter Erdbeerspinat [De], Spinacio-fragola [It]
Güngörmez, ERZURUM ● Turkey
Description: Annual herb of 20-70 cm tall. The stem is mostly branched from base; the branches erect or oblique, light green, slender, glabrous.
The lower leaves are light green on both surfaces, narrowly triangular-ovate, 2-5 × 2-3 cm, equaling or longer than petiole, not or only slightly farinose, with the base cuneate, truncate, or hastate. The margin is irregularly dentate, the apex acuminate; the teeth slightly recurved near the base. The leaves are gradually reduced on upper stem and branches, lanceolate or ovate-hastate, the margin with 1-4 pairs of teeth bilaterally or entire.
The bisexual and female flowers are borne on short, axillary branches, forming globose or cylindric-globose, linear arranged glomerules. The perianth is light green, usually 3-parted, becoming red and succulent in fruit. There are 1-3 stamens. The style is very short; there are 2 stigmas, slightly divaricate. The utricle is compressed globose; the pericarp membranous, adnate to seed. The seed is vertical, red-brown to black, sublustrous, ca. 1 mm in diameter.
Biology: Flowering in June-July, fructification in August-September.
Habitat: Forest margins, valleys, slopes.
Distribution: South Europe, North Africa, Asia.
Uses : The leaves and inflorescences are edible and resemble spinach; the plant was grown as a leaf vegetable in Europe in former times, and there is some recent interest in its cultivation again.
Caution: 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. 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.
Flora of China
Wikipedia, Blitum virgatum
Plants For A Future