Amaranthus hybridus L.[Agg]

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Amaranthus hybridus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mukuvisi Woodland, office area

Amaranthus hybridus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mukuvisi Woodland, office area

Amaranthus hybridus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Leopard Rock Hotel Golf Course

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Common names: Pigweed (English)
Status: Introduced
Robust annual herb, reaching up to 2-3 m high, entirely green but often stems, leaves and even inflorescences deep wine-red. Leaves broadly lanceolate, rhomboid or ovate, 3-25 cm long, hairless or thinly hairy; petiole up to 15 cm long but rarely longer than the leaf blade. Inflorescences in axillary and terminal spikes together often forming extensive terminal, yellowish, green, reddish or purplish panicles up to 45 cm long, the ultimate spike often nodding.
Notes: Two subspecies are recognised in Flora Zambesiaca, namely subsp. hybridus and subsp. cruentus (L.) Thell. These subspecies only differ in minor differences in fruit, perianth segments and bracteoles. The well known form with red inflorescences is sometimes referred to as var. erythrostachys Moq. but this distinction is not universally accepted as deserving taxonomic rank.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In disturbed ground and as a weed of cultivated land.
Altitude range: 300 - 1550 m
Flowering time:Nov - Jun
Worldwide distribution: Native of America, but now well naturalised throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world and occurring also as a casual in temperate regions.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 78 - 79. as Amaranthus hybridus subsp. hybridus (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 66. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 343. as Amaranthus hybridus subsp. hybridus var. hybridus (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 16. as subspp. hybridus and cruentus

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 20. as subspp. hybridus and cruentus

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 21. (Includes a picture).

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 526 - 527. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2011). Wild flowers, Waterplants and Grasses of the Okavango Delta and Kalahari "Did You Know" nature series Struik Nature for Veronica Roodt Publications Page 66. as Amaranthus hybridus subsp. hybridus (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 20. as subspp. hybridus, cruentus and erythrostachys

Townsend, C.C. (1988). Amaranthaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(1) Pages 47 - 50.

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 286 - 287. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 27. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Amaranthus hybridus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Amaranthus hybridus
Flora of Caprivi: Amaranthus hybridus
Flora of Mozambique: Amaranthus hybridus
Flora of Zambia: Amaranthus hybridus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Amaranthus hybridus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Amaranthus hybridus
African Plant Database: Amaranthus hybridus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Amaranthus hybridus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Amaranthus hybridus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Amaranthus hybridus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Amaranthus hybridus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Amaranthus hybridus
JSTOR Plant Science: Amaranthus hybridus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Amaranthus hybridus
Plants of the World Online: Amaranthus hybridus
Tropicos: Amaranthus hybridus
Wikipedia: Amaranthus hybridus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Amaranthus hybridus., retrieved 13 June 2024

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