Botanical name: Amaranthus graecizans Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Amaranthus angustifolius, Amaranthus paolii, Amaranthus silvestris
Spreading Pigweed is a small annual herb up to 45 cm tall, prostrate or decumbent, often strongly branched from the base and usually also above. Stem and branches are slender to stout, angular, hairless or thinly furnished with short to long, crisped, multicellular hairs. Leaves are arranged spirally, simple, without stipules; leaf-stalk 3-5 cm long, sometimes longer than blade; blade broadly ovate or rhombic-ovate to narrowly linear-lanceshaped, 0.5-5.5 cm x 0.2-3 cm, wedge-shaped to long-narrowed at base, pointed to blunt or obscurely retuse at tip, entire, hairless or with a few short glandular hairs on the lower surface of the venation. Flowers are borne in a cluster in leaf-axils, with male and female flowers intermixed but male flowers most frequent in upper clusters; bracts up to 2 mm long, with short or long awn. Flowers are unisexual, nearly stalkless, with 3 tepals up to 2 mm long, having a short awn; male flowers with 3 stamens; female flowers with superior, 1-celled ovary crowned by 3 stigmas. Fruit is a spherical to shortly ovoid capsule up to 2.5 mm long, with a very short beak below the stigmas, usually strongly wrinkled, usually circumscissile, 1-seeded. Seed are compressed, 1-1.5 mm long, faintly netveined, black. It is as a cooked leaf vegetable. Spreading Pigweed is used as a fodder for livestock. Spreading Pigweed is widespread in Asia, Africa and S. Europe.
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