Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Amaranthus californicus (Moq.) S. Wats.
- Family: Pigweed (Amaranthaceae)
- Flowering: July-October
- Field Marks: This much branched species lies flat on the ground. Its flowers are in small, axillary clusters. Each female flower has only one sepal.
- Habitat: Moist mud or sand flats.
- Habit: Mat-forming annual herb with a taproot.
- Stems: Lying flat on the ground, much branched, forming mats up to 1 1/2 feet across,
often tinged with red.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, spatulate to obovate, up to 3/4 inch long, pale green, often with a white border, smooth; leaf stalks slender, up to 3/4 inch long.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately but on the same plant in small axillary clusters; bracts lanceolate, slender-tipped, about 1/24 inch long.
- Sepals: 2 or 3 in the male flowers, free from each other, lanceolate, greenish; 1 in the female flower, about 1/24 inch long.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 1-2.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Nearly spherical, red or purple, up to 1/16 inch in diameter; seeds round, red brown.
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