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Purple Amaranth - Amaranthus cruentus

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Species Description

Stace 4:

Amaranthus cruentus L. (A. hybridus ssp. cruentus (L.) Thell., ssp. incurvatus (Timeroy ex Gren. & Godr.) Brenan, A. paniculatus L.) - Purple Amaranth.

Like A. hybridus but inflorescence often red, bracteoles about 1-1.5x as long as perianth and ; (2n=32, 34). Neophyte-naturalised; fairly frequent casual from several sources, including soyabean waste, very rarely becoming naturalised; scattered in England North to Mid West Yorkshire, Jersey; originated in Central America. Probably the domesticated derivative of A. hybridus.


  • Flowering stems leafless towards apex, the flowers borne in dense spike-like terminal panicles (often also in axillary clusters further back)
  • Plant with female (and usually female) flowers
  • Tepals (3-)5
  • Fruits transversely dehiscent
  • Tepals all tapered to acute apex
  • Terminal inflorescence often >30cm, heavy, usually brightly (green, red or yellow) coloured; seeds pale or dark brown; bracts not exceeding styles; longest bracteoles of female flowers 1-1.5x as long as perianth
  • Inflorescence lax; bracts with slender midrib; styles not thickened at base

Useful Links:

Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora

Go Botany

Plants For A Future