Fat Hen is a
annual plant of the UK, typically found growing in cropland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 150cm.
Fat Hen used to be grown in the UK for food and is still cultivated in the North of India as a leafy vegetable. Although it is rich in vitamins, it also contains oxalic acid, which is poisonous if ingested in sufficient quantity. It can still be found growing at the edges of British fields as an artefact from past cultivation.
Botanic classification and naming: Fat Hen is a member of the Amaranth (Amaranthaceae) family. The genus name
'Chenopodium' identifies the plant as a Goosefoot and its species name 'album' means 'white'.
Concerns: Fat Hen contains oxalic acid which is toxic.
Benefits: Fat Hen provides a food source for caterpillars of the Heart and Dart moth. It also provides food for seed-eating birds, such as the Yellowhammer and Linnet.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.