Love-lies-bleeding Amaranthus caudatus, copyright Tubifex.

Belongs within: Amaranthaceae.

Amaranthus, pigweeds, is a cosmopolitan genus of annual herbs of which some species are cultivated as food plants. Examples include love-lies-bleeding A. caudatus, grown both as a pot herb and a source of grain, as well as being cultivated as an ornamental for its long red panicles.

Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annual, monoecious or dioecious. Leaves alternate; blade linear to ovate. Inflorescences borne as cymes in dense, spike-like clusters; bract 1, tip generally short-pointed or -spined, generally scarious; bractlets 0–2. Staminate flowers with sepals 3–5, more or less equal, more or less as bracts; stamens (1–)3–5, filaments free; staminodia absent. Pistillate flowers with sepals (3–)5, more or less equal, scarious excludding midvein, fused at base, falling with fruit; ovary compressed-ovoid, styles (2–)3, stigmas slender, papillate, ovule 1, erect. Fruit circumscissile or indehiscent, smooth or inflated-wrinkled; walls membranous to spongy-hardened. Seed 1, lenticular, smooth, reddish to black.

    |--A. albusY98
    |--A. arenicolaH93
    |--A. blitoidesH93
    |--A. browniiO94
    |--A. californicusH93
    |--A. caudatus Linnaeus 1753K78
    |--A. chlorostachysC55
    |--A. cruentus Linnaeus 1759K78 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--A. c. var. cruentusC55
    |    `--A. ‘paniculatus’ var. sanguineusC55
    |--A. deflexusY98
    |--A. dubius Thell. 1912K78
    |--A. fimbriatusH93
    |--A. flavusC55
    |--A. graecizansAGF98
    |--A. grandiflorus [=A. mitchellii var. grandiflorus]H90
    |--A. hybridusK78
    |--A. hypochondriacusC55
    |--A. interruptus Brown 1810 [=Euxolus interruptus (Brown) Moq. 1849]K78
    |--A. leptostachyus Benth. 1870K78
    |--A. lividus Linnaeus 1753K78 [=Euxolus lividusC55; incl. A. blitumH90]
    |    |--A. l. ssp. lividusK78
    |    `--A. l. ssp. polygonoidesK78
    |--A. macrocarpusH90
    |    |--A. m. var. macrocarpusH90
    |    `--A. m. var. pallidusH90
    |--A. mitchelliiH90
    |--A. muricatusH90
    |--A. pallidiflorusKM08
    |--A. palmeriH93
    |--A. polygamusD17 [=Euxolus polygamusC55]
    |--A. powelliiH93
    |--A. quitensisK78
    |--A. retroflexusY98
    |--A. roxburghianusN73
    |--A. spinosus Linnaeus 1753K78
    |--A. torreyiH93
    |--A. tricolor Linnaeus 1753 (see below for synonymy)K78
    |--A. tristisC55
    |--A. undulatusLK14
    |--A. viridis Linnaeus 1763K78 (see below for synonymy)
    `--A. watsoniiH93

Amaranthus cruentus Linnaeus 1759K78 [=A. hybridus ssp. cruentusPP07; incl. A. paniculatus Linnaeus 1763K78, A. hybridus var. paniculatus (Linnaeus) Uline & Bray 1894K78]

Amaranthus tricolor Linnaeus 1753 [=A. melancholicus var. tricolor (Linnaeus) Moq. 1849; incl. A. gangeticus Linnaeus 1759, A. melancholicus Linnaeus 1753, A. melancholis f. phyllomanica Sch. & Laut. 1900]K78

Amaranthus viridis Linnaeus 1763K78 [=Euxolus viridisC55; incl. A. gracilis Desf. 1804K78, A. spinosus f. inermis Laut. & Sch. 1900K78]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AGF98] Abd El-Ghani, M. M., & A. G. Fahmy. 1998. Composition of and changes in the spontaneous flora of Feiran Oasis, S Sinai, Egypt, in the last 60 years. Willdenowia 28: 123–134.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[D17] Diels, L. 1917. Beiträge zur Flora der Zentral-Sahara und ihrer Pflanzengeographie. Nach der Sammelausbeute des Freiherrn Hans Geyr von Schweppenburg. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 54 (Beiblatt 120): 51–155.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[K78] Kanis, A. 1978. Amaranthaceae. In: Womersley, J. S. (ed.) Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea vol. 1 pp. 12–42. Melbourne University Press: Carlton South (Australia).

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11–19.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[N73] Nair, N. C. 1973. Amaranthus polygonoides Linn: a new record for south India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 69 (3): 687.

[O94] Otte, D. 1994. The Crickets of Hawaii: origin, systematics and evolution. The Orthopterists’ Society: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P., & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 15–78.

[Y98] Yannitsaros, A. 1998. Additions to the flora of Kithira (Greece) I. Willdenowia 28: 77–94.

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