Ask a Question forum: Is Pigweed an Amaranth?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Aug 3, 2015 1:23 PM CST
I'm growing Poinsettia amaranth. I noticed "weeds" in my yard that look identical just in plain green and the flowers are similar just not in color.

Young plants almost have that line in the leaves like clover do to form a pattern.

Will they hybridize, and if pigweed survives here does that mean my ornamental amaranth will self seed all over my yard?
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Aug 3, 2015 5:30 PM CST
I think you are referring to Amaranthus palmeri which is called pigweed in my area, but more commonly called 'Carelessweed'. Also commonly called pigweed is Portulaca oleracea which is a type of purslane. I think your question is a good one. I've wondered if the domestic garden types of Amaranthus would hybridize with the native weed types but don't know the answer.
Donald
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Aug 5, 2015 9:54 AM CST
Yes, I think I have the red root pigweed growing wild here.

No idea where it came from as seedlings are everywhere, my guess is in birdseed.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 5, 2015 1:19 PM CST
There are a few "weedy" type Amaranthus commonly called Pigweed, these two in the database have photos:
Prostrate Pigweed (Amaranthus albus)
Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)

There's a beautiful ornamental Amaranthus, commonly called Summer Poinsettia that is a perennial in warmer zones and acts as an annual in colder climates. Amaranthus tricolor: http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Poinsettia+Amaran...

I don't know if cross pollination could occur between the weedy variety and the ornamental variety of Amaranthus or how long seeds are viable for any Amaranthus; I'd think they'd need warmth for germination.

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Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Sep 19, 2015 1:57 PM CST
Keith,
Yes and yes.

'Weedy' Amaranthus are varied natives across North America; A. retroflexus is quite ubiquitous
Several years ago I started with one 'Red Garnet' amaranth plant--it seeded itself all over my yard, and its progeny have done the same.
Every year it is a surprise where they will come up and what they will look like.
This was a 2013 garden hybrid


Here are some pics from this year
Thumb of 2015-09-19/dirtdorphins/b656ca
I usually pull the green ones, but I let this one go and it has purple flowers
Thumb of 2015-09-19/dirtdorphins/d23c84
The green one and the red one in this pic (click to enlarge) both came from the same seed head sowed here last fall.
They are obviously cross-pollinating with something else.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Sep 19, 2015 2:30 PM CST
dirtdorphins said:Keith,
Yes and yes.

'Weedy' Amaranthus are varied natives across North America; A. retroflexus is quite ubiquitous
Several years ago I started with one 'Red Garnet' amaranth plant--it seeded itself all over my yard, and its progeny have done the same.
Every year it is a surprise where they will come up and what they will look like.
This was a 2013 garden hybrid


Here are some pics from this year
Thumb of 2015-09-19/dirtdorphins/b656ca
I usually pull the green ones, but I let this one go and it has purple flowers
Thumb of 2015-09-19/dirtdorphins/d23c84
The green one and the red one in this pic (click to enlarge) both came from the same seed head sowed here last fall.
They are obviously cross-pollinating with something else.


Thank you for sharing the photos! The purple one is so unique you should try and get more so it's not lost.

I'm keeping mine in area that gets weeds so the seeds drop and I'll see if they survive winter and sprout in spring.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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dirtdorphins
Sep 19, 2015 2:54 PM CST
Thanks Keith!
I thought it was a neat variation Smiling
We'll see what the bees come up with next year Hilarious!

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