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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Amaranthus albus - prostrate pigweed

Synonyms: Amaranthus pubescens, Amaranthus albus L. var. pubescen
Other Common Names: tumbleweed, tumble pigweed, white amaranth
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Amaranthaceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Annual   Similar Species: Amaranthus graecizans
General Desc: A rounded, bushy, prostrate to erect plant, often becoming a tumbleweed at maturity, spreading many seeds as they tumble along the ground.
Identification notes: Stems erect or ascending without nodal spines; 3 sepals; bracts much longer than the calyx; flowers in dense or spike-like, leafy-bracted, axillary clusters; sepals narrowed upward but not noticeably wider than its base; separate male and female flowers.
Height: To 3 feet


Habitat Description: Cultivated or disturbed sites, sandy areas, vacant areas and roadsides.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1500 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Green, whitish-green or yellowish     Shape: Inconspicuous in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Oct
Description: Flowers are borne in small spiny clusters at the base of leaves. Male flowers have 3 sepals and 3 stamens. Female flowers have 3 sepals, are oblong with a pointed tip and are to 1/8 inch long.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Light Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are oblong to 1-1/2 inches long, leaf stem 1/2 as long as leaf blade or longer.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: 1-seeded, 2 or 3 beaked, bladder-like fruit to about 1/8 inch with a rough surface.
Seed Notes: About 1/16 inch wide, reddish-brown to black, shiny and smooth.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
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