Redroot Pigweed Identification – Amaranthus retroflexus

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This post is part of our “100 Plants and Mushrooms” series. Here, you’ll see the plant’s main parts – its leaves, flowers, fruits, and more – all with key identification features.

Redroot Pigweed is a hardy and adaptable plant has been around for ages, forming a part of various landscapes. The Redroot Pigweed is scientifically named Amaranthus retroflexus. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. It’s also known by several other common names. Some people might call it rough pigweed, green amaranth, or even red-rooted amaranth.

Redroot Pigweed: Key Parts in Photos

Where to find it

The Redroot Pigweed isn’t too choosy about its habitat. From gardens to fields and other open spaces, this plant makes itself comfortable pretty much anywhere. Particularly in North America, it has spread far and wide.

How to identify Redroot Pigweed

The first thing you might notice about the Redroot Pigweed is its erect stem. It stands tall, and upon close inspection, you might spot streaks of red running along. These streaks give it its name – Redroot. But the stem’s not all about color; it’s also about texture. Touch it, and you’ll feel tiny white hairs.

Their leaves vary in color from pure green to a shade of reddish-green. While the higher leaves tend to be lance-shaped, sharp and pointed, the ones below are more of an oval shape. The veins on these leaves are distinct, making the leaves seem almost like they’re carved out.

The flowers might not be the big, colorful blooms that most are used to. These are small, somewhat greenish flowers that form spikes.

The fruits are little capsules that might be round or a tad oval. Now, these capsules might be smooth for some varieties or have a wrinkled texture for others. As they mature, they take on a hue of brown or deep black. Hidden inside these tiny capsules are the tiny, black seeds.

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