Amaranthus cruentus L.

Family: Amaranthaceae

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

Amaranthus paniculatus L.

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

red amaranth, purple amaranth

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a dehiscent (circumscissile) utricle, obovoid, (1.5)2–2.5 mm long, light brown to bright red, smooth to slightly rugose distally, with short, trilobed beak, initially surrounded by 5 tepals (tepals oblong to lanceolate, acute tipped, 1.5–3 mm long), containing 1 seed.

Seed round to elliptic in outline, somewhat compressed with a distinct (acute) marginal rim, cross-section lens-shaped to fusiform, with a protruding notch along the margin where hilum occurs and from which a shallow depression runs inward for a short distance, 1–1.6 mm diameter x (0.6)0.8–1 mm thick. Surface shiny, ± smooth (under magnification, looking shallowly and indistinctly rippled, sometimes cobblestone-like, as well as pitted and punctate), usually white or ivory with reddish or yellowish tint to sometimes dark reddish-brown or black.

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)