Plant Image
Flower spike
Grapevine Canyon - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Amaranthus torreyi - Bigelow's amaranth

Synonyms: A. bigelovii
Other Common Names: Torrey's amaranth, sandhill amaranth, Watson's amaranth, amaranth, careless weed
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Amaranthaceae

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Flower spike
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Multi-branched near base. Erect or ascending.
Identification notes: Sepals and petals of pistillate flowers spatulate. Inflorescences in axillary clusters, toward apex aggregated in spikes (rarely spicate panicles), axils leafy (occasionally almost leafless distally).
Height: 4 to 28 inches


Habitat Description: Sandy, rocky, and gravelly flats, slopes, canyons, washes, other disturbed habitats.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3200 - 5600 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Green     Shape: Other in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Aug - Oct
Description: Have 5 very small sepals. Staminate flowers have 3 stamens. Pistillate flowers are narrowly spoon-shaped, with rounded to slightly notched tips. Has axillary clusters distributed to stem base while crowded above into a terminal, leafy spike.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate leaf blade is 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. Leaf stalk is less than half as long as the blade. Leaf margins can be wavy.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Black   
Fruit Notes: Fruit is utricle (a small bladdery one-seeded fruit); slightly greater than 1/16 inch.
Seed Notes: Seeds are very small, black, smooth and shiny.

  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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