Chenopodium capitatum (Strawberry Blite)

Plant Info
Also known as: Blite Goosefoot, Strawberry Spinach
Family:Amaranthaceae (Amaranth)
Life cycle:annual
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist to dry disturbed soil; roadsides, gravel pits, waste areas, fields, open woods, thickets, clearings
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:8 to 40 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: indistinct Cluster type: round Cluster type: whorled

[photo of flower clusters] Numerous flowers are tightly packed in round clusters in uppermost leaf axils and whorled around the upper stem, the clusters up to about 3/8 inch diameter at peak bloom, with individual flowers blooming at the tip of the cluster first.

[close-up of flowers] Flowers lack petals but have 3 short stamens surrounding an oval, green ovary with a tiny, 2-parted style at the tip. The ovary soon turns brown. Cupping the flower is a green calyx with 3 lance-oblong lobes less than 1mm long.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are thin, alternate, 1 to 4 inches long and often nearly as wide, triangular to arrowhead-shaped, coarsely toothed and often a bit wavy around around the edges, pointed at the tip, and mostly straight across or wedge-shaped at the base. Lower leaves are long-stalked, the stalks becoming shorter and leaves more lance-shaped and less toothy as they ascend the stem. Stems are erect to ascending, ridged, hairless, and branched from the base.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] The persistent calyx expands and becomes fleshy and bright red with maturity, the lobes curving around the single, brown to blackish seed.


Strawberry Blite is considered something of a weedy species, popping up in disturbed soils mostly unexpectedly, though it may not persist very long in any one spot thus it is not so easy to track down if you're specifically looking for it. We searched for some years at locations where it was previously recorded without success, then were able to cultivate it in the garden after a fan sent us seed from a plant that came up out of nowhere in her brother's garden (thanks, Margaret!). All parts are apparently edible, the leaves similar to spinach and the fruits with a mildly sweet flavor, but unfortunately, tasting nothing like a strawberry. There are 2 recognized varieties of C. capitatum: var. parvicapitatum, with smaller flower clusters and fruit that is not fleshy and only occasional red, found in the western US, and var. capitatum, as described above, found from Alaska across Canada, in the US as far south as New Jersey and introduced elsewhere.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Minnesota Native Plant Society

Where to buy native seed and plants ↓

Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest

  • Itasca Ladyslipper Farm - Native orchids, container grown
  • Prairie Restorations - Bringing people together with the land
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds
  • Morning Sky Greenery - Native Prairie Plants

More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in his garden from seed collected in Hubbard County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.


Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.