Quinoa in field of barley, Portland Bill, Dorset
Orange seedhead and upper leaves
Seedhead turning to red
Red and yellow seedheads, leaves and stems
July to August
Escapes from cultivation are found thinly scattered throughout
For a map see the National Biodiversity Network Gateway
It is a neophyte introduced from South America in the last 10
years or so.
It is grown mainly for its seeds, which have been given the
In South America it is a staple crop and nowadays is grown
throughout the world. The United Nations General Assembly
declared 2013 as the "International Year of Quinoa".
It grows as a casual on waste and cultivated ground, usually
close to where it has been grown as a crop.
I saw it in a field of barley on the Isle of Portland in August, 2013.
It took a while to identify and then even longer to work out how it
It turns out that the local bird observatory on Portland Bill grow a
range of seed-producing crops, which they leave as food for the
large numbers of indigenous and migrant birds visiting the area
(see - Portland Bird Observatory ). Othe bird groups also do this in
other parts of the country.
Quinoa is an annual herb, growing up to 1.5m.
When young it resembles native chenopods such as Fat Hen.
Flowers are in dense clumps and green when young.
The seeds are also in dense clumps that look like elongated
and multicoloured cauliflowers.
The colours vary from green through yellow, red and purple.
The leaves are triangular and toothed, initially green and later
turning yellow, red and purple.
of Quinoa is very informative and well worth looking at.
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