Directory       News       Site Map       Home
    Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Previous taxon


Mihai Costea, except as noted

Annual to subshrub; monoecious and/or dioecious; occasionally spiny; hairs simple (branched). Leaf: blade simple, alternate or opposite, margins entire or serrate; veins pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal; 3-flowered cymes in dense spikes, heads or panicles; bracts 0 or 1–5, persistent; bractlets 0–2. Flower: bisexual or unisexual, small, green (± white), yellow or purple; perianth parts 0 or (1)3–5, free or fused basally, scarious or hardened, persistent; stamens 1–5, opposite perianth parts, free or basally fused as a tube, generally unequal, occasionally alternate with appendages on stamen tubes (pseudostaminodes), anthers 2- or 4-chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1; ovule 1 (2–many); style (0)1–3, stigmas 1–3(5). Fruit: utricle; generally with persistent perianth or bracts. Seed: 1 [2+], small, lenticular to spheric, smooth or dotted to striate or tubercled.
± 75 genera, 900 species: cosmopolitan, especially disturbed, arid, saline or alkaline soils; some cultivated for food, ornamental; many naturalized, ruderal or agricultural weeds. [Müller & Borsch 2005 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 92:66–102] Amaranthaceae including Chenopodiaceae by some. Polycnemoideae, represented in California by Nitrophila, formerly considered subfamily of Chenopodiaceae, but needs further research. Guilleminea densa (Willd.) Moq. var. aggregata Uline & W.L. Bray is a waif. Froelichia gracilis (Hook.) Moq. is an historical waif. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Kadereit et al. 2003 Int J Plant Sci 164:959–986; Robertson 1981 J Arnold Arbor 62:267–313]

Key to Amaranthaceae

Annual (short-lived perennial herb); monoecious or dioecious. Stem: prostrate to erect, branched or not. Leaf: alternate, petioled, ovate to linear, tip often ± notched (2-lobed), midvein ending in sharp point, margin entire, flat or wavy. Inflorescence: 3-flowered cymes, in dense axillary clusters, or large, terminal, panicle- or spike-like inflorescence; bract 1, bractlets 0–2, alike, persistent, spine-like to ± leaf-like or ± membranous, at least margins scarious-membranous. Flower: unisexual. Staminate flower: perianth parts (2)3–5, scarious; stamens (1)2–5, filaments free; pseudostaminodes 0; anthers 4-chambered. Pistillate flower: perianth parts (1)3–5, membranous or scarious, free, persistent; ovary ovoid, style 0, stigmas 2–3, persistent, slender, papillate; ovule 1, erect. Fruit: circumscissile or indehiscent, ovoid to obovoid, smooth or ± wrinkled, tip ± gradually (abruptly) narrowed to stigmas or beak; walls thin, membranous. Seed: 1, lenticular to ± spheric, round to obovate, smooth, shiny, occasionally obscure-dotted or -net-like, ± white-ivory to brown-red or black.
± 70 species: worldwide; weeds, ornamentals, food plants. (Greek: unfading, non-withering) [Costea et al. 2001 Sida 19:931–974, 975–992; Sauer 1967 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 54:103–137] Hybrids common, F1 generally with numerous, densely packed bractlets beneath generally sterile pistillate flowers, abnormal-shaped inflorescence with dense, twisted or fan-shaped branches. Unless otherwise noted, descriptions of bracts and flower parts are of pistillate flowers.
Unabridged references: [Sauer 1955 Madroño 13:5–46]
Unabridged note: F1 hybrids have been observed in natural conditions or have been experimentally obtained between any of the following species: Amaranthus hybridus, Amaranthus powellii, Amaranthus retroflexus, Amaranthus tuberculatus, Amaranthus palmeri, Amaranthus caudatus, Amaranthus hypochondriacus, Amaranthus cruentus, Amaranthus spinosus, Amaranthus blitoides, Amaranthus albus. Amaranthus caudatus L., Amaranthus cruentus L., Amaranthus hypochondriacus L. frequently cultivated as ornamentals, occasionally escaping from cultivation. Amaranthus spinosus L. probably not naturalized, uncommon waif.

Key to Amaranthus

A. torreyi (A. Gray) S. Watson TORREY'S AMARANTH
Monoecious. Stem: erect or ascending, 10–70 cm, many-branched, green. Leaf: petiole 10–30 mm; blade (12)15–50(70) mm, 3–20 mm wide, oblanceolate to lanceolate or ovate, base narrowly wedge-shaped, tip acute to ± obtuse, mucronate, margins flat or ± wavy. Inflorescence: axillary, clusters distally grouped in a leafy spike (tip occasionally ± leafless), green; bracts 1.3–3.5 mm, ± > perianth parts, lanceolate to awl-like. Flower: staminate perianth parts 5, 2.5–4.4 mm, ± equal, stamens 3(5); pistillate perianth parts 5, 1.4–2.5 mm, narrowly spoon-shaped, tips obtuse, rounded to ± notched; stigmas 3, erect. Fruit: circumscissile; 1.4–2 mm, <= perianth parts, ± spheric to obovoid; lid coarse-wrinkled near base. Seed: 0.9–1.1 mm, lenticular, dark brown to black, smooth, shiny.
Sandy flats, arroyos, after late-summer rain; 1200–1700 m. Mojave Desert; western Arizona. Aug–Oct [Online Interchange]

Previous taxon: Amaranthus spinosus
Next taxon: Amaranthus tuberculatus var. rudis


Name search

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Amaranthus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

Copyright © 2014 Regents of the University of California
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.

click for enlargement Amaranthus torreyi
See CalPhotos for additional images
2012 Keir Morse

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Amaranthus torreyi Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records


CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.