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Chenopodium Bonus-Henricus

Updated on April 12, 2011

Farinelli-henry good (scientific name Chenopodium bonus-Henricus L., 1753) is a perennial herb of the family Amaranthaceae and edible, spread throughout the Italian peninsula.It is a herbal plant.



They are herbaceous perennial plants, but sometimes almost erect shrub with ascending-shaped vaguely like a pyramid. These plants are classified as "apetale" as no corolla (the perianth is present but reduced). It is also distinguished as the leaves are free of ochres and the plant generally has no latex and even stinging hairs, but hair type is slippery if largely hairless. They have an unpleasant smell and a distinctive herbal "garment" flour (see the common name) on the stems and leaves. The height of these plants can range from 20 to 60 cm. The organic form of emicriptofita scapose species (H SCAP) that are perennial plants with overwintering buds at ground level and covered with litter or snow. They also have a floral axis erect and often free (or low) leaves.




The roots are secondary to the rhizome.




·         Part underground: the underground part of the stem is a large rhizome.


·         Aboveground part: the aerial part of the stem is erect-ascending to the surface and crossed the cylindrical shape. The stems of this species are simple or sparsely branching.




The arrangement of leaves along the stem is alternate. The leaves are entire and flour are stalked and saettiformi or triangular-hastate base truncated. The maximum width of leaves is at the bottom of the plate. Typically, the leaf color is dark green above and chalky in appearance and lighter below. At the base has two large teeth pointing down, while the rest of the lamina is slightly wavy. Length of the petiole at the base of the plant: 1 to 2 dm. Size of leaf: width 3 to 7 cm, length from 5 to 8 cm.




The inflorescence is free but leafy bracts at the base, the shape is that of an ear of dense clusters tell interrupted in some places and red-brown. Each glomerulus contains several globular greenish flowers and sessile. The terminal inflorescence is mainly, they are still short of these clusters of flowers at the axil of lower leaves. Sometimes the end of the inflorescence can be bent by its own weight. Terminal inflorescence length: 5 to 20 cm. Diameter of glomeruli: 3 to 5 mm.




The flowers are hermaphrodite, pentamerous (various whorls - calyx and stamens - are made up of 5 parts) and actinomorphic. Size of flowers: 1 to 2 mm.


·         Floral formula:


                          P 5, A 5, G (2) (excess)


·         Chalice: The cup is made up of 5 parts welded to the base forming a tube but with free ends. These elements, in this case they are called tepals or sepaloidi. The free end is oblong or elliptical with apex obtuse. The consistency is herbaceous. These elements are flour and cover most (but not all) of the fruit to mature, their color is reddish-brown mostly to fruiting. Tube length: 0.4 to 0.6 mm. Size of loose parts: length 0.8 to 1.5 mm, width 0.5 to 1.1 mm.


·         Corolla: The corolla is absent (as is characteristic of all kind, but also the family).


·         Androecium: stamens are 5 flowers in the terminal inflorescence, while the flowers in other positions more lateral stamens are 2, 3 or 4, the position of the stamens is opposite to the tepals (obdiplostemonia).


·         Gynoecium: the two styles can be with bifid stigma. The harem is a bi-carpels overcome ovary uni-locular with free central placenta (from which you can develop a capsule monosperma).


·         Flowering: June to September.


·         Pollination: by insects.




The fruit is a capsule at maturity becomes fleshy and juicy. Each fruit contains a single seed-brown shining, very minutely dotted obvoide shaped or simply round. The pericarp (outside of the fruit) is a member. Seed Size: 1.5 to 2 mm.


Distribution And Habitat


·         Geoelemento: type chorological (source region) is Circumboreale. It is considered a species native to the mountains of Europe.


·         Distribution: This plant is widely spread throughout the Italian territory, as well as across Europe. It is also common in other parts of the world from Siberia to North America.


·         Habitat: the Alps and the Apennines lies between the chestnut forest and the limit of the conifers at the alpine pastures, uncultivated or ruderal but fertilized (possibly from cattle grazing). The preferred substrate is limestone that is acidic at neutral pH, high nutritional value and dry soil.


·         Altitudinal spread: measurements on these plants can be found from 500 up to 2100 m above sea level, and then attend the following plans vegetation: alpine and subalpine.





Substances: These plants are equipped with an essential oil called "essence of chenopods, and betalaine also contain other substances such as iron and vitamin B1. They also contain saponins and oxalic acid. The quantities of these substances in the plant are small, but an exaggerated consumption of the leaves in certain individuals may create problems. Issues that may increase if the plants are harvested from land rich in nitrogen


Healing properties: This herb is soothing, laxative and vermifuge. Should not be taken by people suffering from rheumatism or kidney failure, as would aggravate the condition. A poultice made from the leaves was used to cleanse and heal chronic wounds, burns and abscesses. The seeds are a mild laxative, suitable for children.


Used parts: especially the leaves, where the rhizome




It is a plant known since ancient times (it was widely cultivated by the English until the eighteenth century) and valued for its nutritional value, often collected and boiled and eaten in various forms in central Italy. Formerly considered a poor food, spice is now a much sought after and therefore often disposed of indiscriminately. It is cooked as a common vegetable, boiled or fried in a pan. We prefer the buds or immature buds of young plants


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I work for a botanical gadren in Virginia and one of my responsibilities is the care, maintenance and design of our Hummingbird Garden. I would love to have Petunia exserta in our collection and would like to start this plant from seed, as this is the preferred method by our plant propagator. Does anyone have any seed they would be willing to send/sell? I can send a self addressed stamped envelope or buy seeds if someone knows of a source. I would prefer not to buy a plant and have it ship across the country if possible.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      sweet little Daffodil Cupcake. a0I made a cake and then a tiuartol on a cupcake. a0My caption on the Instagram photo was: Daffodil Cupcakes Done. a0Tutorial Done. Summoning

    • SJKSJK profile image


      7 years ago from delray beach, florida

      Thanks for a very informative read.

    • daffodil2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      thanks a lot!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Interesting Take on this Perennial Herb...Nice to know that it could come back the following year. I've had lots of luck with my Perennials doing just that. Good Hub.

    • anglnwu profile image


      7 years ago

      USeful information--very scientific in presentation. Thanks for sharing.


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