2. Chenopodium californicum (S. Watson) S. Watson in W. H. Brewer et al., Bot. California. 2: 48. 1880.
California goosefoot, soap plant
Blitum californicum S. Watson, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 9: 10. 1874
Stems erect to ascending, branched at apex of taproot, 2.5-8 dm, somewhat viscid and farinose. Leaves nonaromatic; petiole 1-12 cm; blade triangular, 4.5-10 × 3-9 cm, base truncate to cordate, margins sinuate-dentate, apex acute to acuminate, sparsely farinose. Inflorescences: dense glomerules sessile on terminal spikes; spikes 5-19 cm; glomerules 3-5 mm diam., flowers developing at about same time; bracts leaflike, subtending lower glomerules, absent for over 1/2 inflorescence, triangular, broadly hastate, 1-3.5 × 0.8-4 cm, apex acuminate, base truncate to hastate, sparsely farinose. Flowers: perianth segments connate into 0.5-0.9 mm tube, lobes oblong or elliptic, 0.6-0.9(-1.1) × 0.4-1.2 mm, apex obtuse, rounded or truncate, scarcely abaxially keeled throughout, glabrous, not covering fruit at maturity; stamens (4-)5; stigmas 2. Achenes obovoid; pericarp adherent, ± smooth. Seeds obovoid or rotund, 1.5-2 mm in diam. , margins rounded; seed coat black, rugose.
Fruiting spring-fall (winter). Dry to moist slopes, ledges, plains, yellow-pine forests, yucca-juniper woodlands, chaparral and under oaks and willows; 30-1500 m; Calif.; Mexico (Baja California).