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Fathen is a summer annual and not usually found over winter.

Germination generally happens from spring to early summer and seeds are produced over summer. It dies off when frosty weather arrives.

Fathen is a tall, upright, leafy plant. It can appear, especially as a younger plant, like it is covered in white dust (see photo).

The leaf shape can vary quite a bit from having almost no teeth along the margin to having very jagged margins. Those that are most jagged along the margins are often actually Nettle-leaved Fathen.


Fathen is easily affected by most herbicides. Dr Kerry Harrington’s weed database mentions a herbicide-resistant biotype of Fathen developed in maize fields in Waikato, which have shown resistance to herbicides from the triazine family. Dicamba (Banvine or Bandit) has proven effective against this resistant biotype.


Find out more about Fathen

Chenopodium album


Fathen producing seeds