Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Archichlamydeae

Amaranthaceae - Amaranth or pigweed family

Townsend, C.C. (1988) Amaranthaceae FZ 9(1)

Description of the family

Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes woody at the base or, rarely, small shrubs (Psilotrichum scleranthum). Stipules 0. Leaves simple, alternate or opposite. Inflorescence various, bracteate; bracts hyaline to membranous, straw-coloured to white, subtending one or more flowers. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, mostly actinomorphic with 2 bracteoles, frequently in ultimate small 3-flowered cymes, the lateral flowers often sterile and modified into scales, spines, hooks or hairs. Tepals often green or white or variously coloured, usually 5, arranged in 1 whorl, membranous to firm, finally hardening and often falling with the ripe fruit. Ovary superior, 1-locular. Fruit a capsule, rarely a berry.

Comment: Amaranthaceae is a family which lacks the usual differentiation into sepals and petals, possessing instead 1 whorl of variously coloured tepals and each flower usually subtended by 1 bract and 2 bracteoles.

Worldwide: 71 genera and 750 species, mostly tropical and warm, few temperate.

Zimbabwe: 19 genera and 53 taxa.

Gomphrena celosioides

More sample images from the Amaranthaceae (Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record)

Celosia trigyna

Celosia trigyna

Centemopsis gracilenta

Centemopsis gracilenta

Aerva leucura

Aerva leucura

Alternanthera nodiflora

Alternanthera nodiflora

Amaranthus hybridus

Amaranthus hybridus

Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

GenusContent
Achyranthes L.Description, Image
Achyropsis (Moq.) Hook. f.Description
Aerva Forssk.Description, Image
Alternanthera Forssk.Description, Image
Amaranthus L.Description, Image
Celosia L.Description, Image
Centemopsis SchinzDescription, Image
Centrostachys Wall.Description
Cyathula BlumeDescription, Image
Gomphrena L.Description, Image
Guilleminea KunthDescription, Image
Hermbstaedtia Rchb.Description, Image
Kyphocarpa (Fenzl ex Endl.) Lopr.Description, Image
Leucosphaera GilgDescription
Nothosaerva Wight
Pandiaka (Moq.) Hook. f.
Psilotrichum BlumeDescription, Image
Pupalia A. Juss.Description, Image
Sericorema (Hook. f.) Lopr.Description

Other sources of information about Amaranthaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Amaranthaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Amaranthaceae | cultivated Amaranthaceae
Flora of Zambia: Amaranthaceae

External websites:

GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Amaranthaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-14

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2014). Flora of Zimbabwe: Family page: Amaranthaceae.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=8, retrieved 19 April 2014

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