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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Amaranthus blitoides - mat amaranth

Synonyms: Amaranthus graecizans
Other Common Names: prostrate pigweed
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Amaranthaceae

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Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Ligule and involute blade
Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Herbaceous weedy annual with stems up to 2 feet long, branched from the base and mostly prostrate.
Identification notes: Female flowers of 4 to 5 tepals and intermixed with male flower of 3 to 4 tepals; inflorescences in axillary clusters, sometimes in terminal leafy spikes; leaf blades usually obovate to elliptic-spatulate; fruits open horizontally.
Height: Prostrate, 2 foot spread


Habitat Description: In the arid west, usually occur in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands. Grows in disturbed areas, even in cracks of sidewalks.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 7200 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Light green     Shape: Inconspicuous in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: Short clusters of light green flowers develop from the axils of the leaves sometimes appear as terminal spikes.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark 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 up to 1 inch long and taper to a slender petiole. Stems vary in color from whitish-green to pale red. Mostly without hairs.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Black or brown   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: The fruit is a bladder-like capsule that splits open to release a single seed.
Seed Notes: Tiny seeds are less than 1/16 inch across; they are dark brown or black, shiny, round in circumference, and somewhat flattened. Seeds can remain viable in the ground for at least ten years.

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