Amaranthus blitum

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Amaranthus blitum


Annual, monoecious, erect to semiprostrate herb to 10 dm; stems subsucculent, glabrous, often pinkish to deep red. Petiole to 5 cm, shorter than to longer than blade; blade often rhomboid, sometimes ovate or elliptical, (0.7-)2-6(-7.5) x (0.2-)2.7-5 cm, usually strongly emarginate, notched or bilobed to 3 mm deep at apex, cuneate at base, glabrous, with prominent veins beneath. Inflorescence of axillary clusters and simple terminal spikesto 9 cm long; bracts linear, acuminate, aristate; bracteoles lanceolate, oblong or ovate, 1/2 to 1/3 as long as tepals, to 1 mm long, acute or obtuse. Male flowers developing far in advance of, and less numerous than female ones; tepals 3, hyaline, oblong, ovate or elliptical, 0.8-1.3 mm long, acute, mucronate, midvein green, incurved over (2)3 stamens. Female flowers more numerous than male; tepals 3, 2 are linear-oblong to somewhat spathulate, 0.9-2 mm long, about 1/2 to 2/3 the length of mature utricle, obtuse or subacute, third tepal shorter, scale-like; ovary oblong, styles (2-)3, erect. Utricle indehiscent, ovoid-globose, 1.5-2.5 mm long, smooth or somewhat rugulose, thin-walled; seed lenticular, 0.8-1.2(1.6) mm wide, dark reddish-brown or black, shining.


Guianas present, Pantropical present
Pantropical; 24 collections studied, all from the Guianas (GU: 5; SU: 15; FG: 4).

Common Name

Boni (French Guiana): mboia; English (Suriname): klaroen, krakroen, kraroen, krassi-wiwiri, redi maka klaroen


Specimens having characteristics which are intermixed, intermediate or intergrading between those of typical A. blitum and A. viridis, e.g., features of the leaf-apex (bilobed vs. obtuse) and/or utricle surface (smooth vs. rugulose), are frequently encountered, suggesting hybridization and making definite identification to species difficult.