Amaranthus spinosus L.

Spiny Amaranth

Amaranthus spinosus plant

Family - Amaranthaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Amaranthus spinosus stem

Leaves - No info. yet.

Amaranthus spinosus leaves

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Amaranthus spinosus nodeGlobular cluster of flowers in the stem axils...

Amaranthus spinosus spineSpines subtending the globular clusters.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Amaranthus spinosus flowersFlowers close-up.

Flowering - June - October.

Habitat - Waste ground, cultivated fields, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to tropical America.

Other info. - This scuzzy introduced weed can be found throughout Missouri and can be quite common in the habitats mentioned above. The plant is easy to identify because of its reddish stems and stout spines, which subtend the axillary flower clusters. Many plants in the genus Amaranthus can look alike.
A. spinosus is edible and is best picked as a young plant. Older plants become fairly stout and have a woody texture.

Photographs taken off Main St., Ellington, MO., 7-18-04.