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Amaranthus spinosus (Spiny amaranth)
Martin, Edwin M.

Amaranthus spinosus

Amaranthus spinosus L.

Spiny Amaranth, Thorny Pigweed

Amaranthaceae (Amaranth Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N), VI (N), CAN (I)

Tiny, yellow-green flowers on a stout, much-branched, sometimes reddish stem. Amaranthus species, though regarded as common weeds, produce tremendous numbers of seed-like fruit, which are an important food for many songbirds.

The Amaranthaceae are a family of annual or perennial herbs with small, crowded flowers. There are usually 5 sepals and no petals. Filaments of the stamens are often united into a short tube.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Fruit: Utricle.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Native Distribution: Manitoba and Ontario; Maine south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Waste places, disturbed ground, and cultivated soil.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0731 Collected Sep 13, 1992 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Amaranthus spinosus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Amaranthus spinosus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Amaranthus spinosus


Record Modified: 2022-09-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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