Amaranthus retroflexus

Red root pigweed

Green Amaranth

Field Marks
  1. Redish to pink taproot.
  2. Dense terminal flower clusters
  3. Indeterminate growth, flowers until frost.
  4. Bristle look due to flowers having spine tipped bracts

Names and Myths

Amaranthus from Greek a not and maraino  to fade. The flowers do not fade.

retroflexus bent backwards

Natural history / Folklore

A weed of field edges and gardens. Picked young (a few inches tall) it can be used as a potherb. The seeds can be ground as flour, or cooked as gruel.40 Common weed of gardens and fields, fast growing with large seed production which can result in losses in agricultural fields. Each plant is capable of producing seed 8 weeks after germination and until first frost, this can result in up to 150,000 seeds per plant, and two generations per growing season.45

Species List Family Group
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Late summer and fall. Green flowers in bristly spikes ”wide up to 2 1/2 “ long. Taproot redish, alternate leaves.