Goose-Foot, or Ckenopo-dium, L. a genus of plants, comprising twenty-seven species, eleven of which are indigenous ; of these the following are the principal :
1. The Bonus Hernials, Perennial Goose-foot, Mercury Goose-foot, or Good King Henry, which grows amongst rubbish, on road sides, and walk ; and is sometimes found in pastures: it produces purplish-green flowers, that are in bloom from May to August. This plant is cultivated like spinach by the poorer class of people in Lincolnshire : its leaves are frequently boiled in broth ; and the young shoots, when peeled and dressed are, on account of their flavour, eaten as substitutes for asparagus.— Neither goats nor sheep relish this plant, which is also refused by cows, horses, and hogs. Its roots, however, are frequently given to sheep affected with a cough, and are supposed to afford an excellent medicine for preventing consump-tion in those animals.
2. The album, White Goose-foot, or Common Wild Orache, which grows frequently in corn-fields, on old dunghills, rubbish, and in gardens : and flowers in the months of July and August. - It is eaten by cows, goats, sheep, horses, and hogs, which last devour it with avidity ; but LinnAEus asserts that it is totally refused by horses. - According to Prof. Pallas, the white goose-foot is a very troublesome weed among corn, on the banks of the Volga, where the German colonists make use of its very abundant seed, by mixing it with bread-corn, and also boiling it separately in the form of groats.— TownseNd relates, that a species of pot-ash, or barilla, is prepared from this plant.
3. The olidum, v. vulvaria, StinkingGoose-foot, orFetidOrache, an annual plant, growing on road sides, old walls, and rubbish, and flowering in August. - This species, in a fresh state, has a nauseous taste, and a strong offensive smell, similar to that of putrid salt fish. It is nevertheless eaten by cows, horses, goals, and sheep, but refused by swine. - Though exploded by the London College, Dr. Cul-len strongly recommends the fetid orache as a powerful antispasmodic, especially in hysterical cases.— Dambourney dyed wool of a durable citron colour with a decoction of the whole plant; but the stuff was previously immersed in a di-luted solution of tin ; and though the liquor emitted the unpleasant fetor of this vegetable, yet the wool acquired no smell.
4. The maritimun, Sea Goose-foot, Small Glass-wort, or Sea-blite, which abounds on the seashore, and flowers in the months of July and August. - Dr. Wither-ing mentions it as an excellent pot-herb. - In Siberia, and in Astrakhan, the inhabitants obtain from this plant their pot-ash, which probably partakes more of the nature of soda.
5. The polyspermum, Upright Blite, Round-leaved Goose-foot, or All-seed Goose-foot, which grows on cultivated ground and dunghills, and flowers in the month of July or August. - This curious plant has not hitherto been converted to any useful purpose; though Ave believe its numerous seeds might be advantageously employed in feeding poultry. Perhaps it is a variety of the quinoa, which grows in the mountains of Peru, where each plant affords upwards of 1000 grains, equal, if not superior, to rice; for we find in the French "Annie Littcraire" for 1781, that this exotic vegetable is a species of the goose-foot.