Scientific Name:
Amaranthus retroflexus L.
Vernacular Name(s):
Redroot; Redroot amaranth

Hairy, erect, annual herb to c. 1 m high, but very variable in size; stems reddish towards base, densely hairy above. Petioles c. 5 cm long. Lamina 2–10 × 1–4.5 cm, ovate-lanceolate, becoming glabrous above; veins persistently hairy below; margin undulate, usually ciliate; base cuneate; apex obtuse. Infl. dense, spike-like, to c. 20 cm high, with numerous short lateral branches. Longer bracteoles 4–5 mm long, lanceolate-subulate with green keel; shorter bracteoles similar. Tepals 4–5, 2–2.7–(3) mm long, oblong; keel green; apex ± truncate to rounded and cuspidate. Fr. broadly ellipsoid, circumscissile, with rounded apex, included within persistent perianth except for stigma apices. Seed 1–1.3 mm diam., suborbicular or broadly ovoid, dark brown.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Dec.–Feb.