Amaranthus californicus (Moq.) S. Watson

Family: Amaranthaceae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)


Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

California amaranth

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a dehiscent (circumscissile) or tardily dehiscent utricle, subglobose, 1–1.2 mm long, smooth or wrinkled (the latter especially in dry plants), with 1–3 attached tepals (tepals narrowly lanceolate, unequal, the largest 1–1.2 mm long, apex acute to acuminate), containing 1 seed.

Seed round to obovate in outline, compressed with an obtuse marginal rim, cross-section lens-shaped to fusiform (with opposite sides ± parallel), with a protruding notch along the margin where hilum occurs, (0.6)0.7–1.1 mm diameter x 0.2–0.4 mm thick. Surface shiny, ± smooth (under magnification, looking cobblestone-like, as well as pitted or punctate in some spots), dark reddish-brown.

Hilar region round to elliptic, consisting of a linear slit between two semi-circular scars.

Embryo annular, surrounding copious perisperm.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)