Stems erect to sprawling, simple to much-branched, 1-30 dm, sparsely to densely farinose. Leaves nonaromatic; petiole 1-2.5 cm, shorter than blades or occasionally longer; blade ovate-lanceolate to rhombic-lanceolate or broadly oblong, 1-5.5(-12) × 0.5-3.8(-8) cm, base narrowly to broadly cuneate, margins sinuous-dentate to shallowly serrate or entire, apex acute to subobtuse, farinose abaxially. Inflorescences glomerules or occasionally 1-flowered peduncles in terminal and lateral compound spikes, 2-19 cm; glomerules subglobose, 3-4 mm diam.; bracts absent. Flowers: perianth segments 5, distinct nearly to base; lobes ovate, ca. 1 × 1.1 mm, apex obtuse, keeled, farinose, largely covering fruit at maturity; stamens 5; stigmas 2, 0.2-0.3 mm. Utricles depressed-ovoid; pericarp nonadherent, occasionally adherent, smooth to papillate. Seeds lenticular, margins round, 0.9-1.6 mm diam.; seed coat black, smooth, indistinctly granulate and/or radially grooved, or with faint reticulate-rugose ridges. 2n = 54. Fruiting late summer-fall. Disturbed soils in open habitats; 0-1400 m; introduced; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Nunavut, Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Ala., Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo; probably mostly native in Europe. Chenopodium album, one of the worst weeds and most widespread synanthropic plants on the Earth, in its broad circumscription is also among the most polymorphic plant species. It is a loosely arranged aggregate of still insufficiently understood races. Hundreds of segregate microspecies and infraspecific entities (including nomenclatural combinations) of the C. album aggregate have been described and/or recognized by various authors. Some authors have recognized numerous segregate intergrading species, while others have developed elaborate infraspecific hierarchies with numerous subspecies, varieties, forms, and even numerous subforms (e.g., B. Jüttersonke and K. Arlt 1989), or have combined both approaches. Neither approach has brought satisfactory and uncontroversial results.
Plant: Annual 18-100+ cm; Stem: branches 0 to generally ± spreading Leaves: blade 15-70 mm, lanceolate to ± deltate, entire to irregularly wavy-toothed, dull green above, powdery below INFLORESCENCE: spheric clusters, spikes, or panicle-like, generally dense; bracts generally 0; flowers generally sessile Flowers: sepals generally enclosing fruit, generally keeled, powdery; stamens generally 5; ovary lenticular to spheric, stigmas 2-5 Fruit: 1-1.5 mm diam; wall ± rough at 20X , adherent to seed; Seed horizontal, red-brown to black; wall very thin Misc: Disturbed places, fields, roadsides; < 1800 m.; Jun-Oct