We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Amaranthus albus - L.

Common Name Prostrate Pigweed
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness 8-10
Known Hazards No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.
Habitats Disturbed or waste ground[43].
Range Southern N. America. Naturalized or casual in most of Europe[50].
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Amaranthus albus Prostrate Pigweed


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amaranthus_albus_Coste_3067.png
Amaranthus albus Prostrate Pigweed
http://www.eol.org/pages/10544300?image_id=2798967

 

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Summary

A common annual weed with mildly flavoured edible leaves used as a spinach substitute rich in vitamins and minerals. The seeds are also edible. Common names include: White Pigweed, Tumble Pigweed, Tumbleweed, Prostrate Pigweed. U.S. name: Prostrate Pigweed. French: Amarante blanche. Spanish: bledo blanco. Portuguese: bredo-branco. German: weißer Fuchsschwanz. Brazilian: carurú-branco. Swedish: vit amarant.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Amaranthus albus is a ANNUAL growing to 0.7 m (2ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf from May to October, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Leaves and young plant - cooked[177]. A mild flavour, it is rich in vitamins and minerals and is used as a spinach[K]. Seed - raw or cooked[257]. They can be ground into a flour and used to make bread[257]. Very small and fiddly, about 1mm in diameter[266], but the seed is very nutritious. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Dye.

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[168].

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species but it should succeed as a spring-sown annual in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well[K]. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the 'C4 carbon-fixation pathway', this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions[196].

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm[133]. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination[133]. Cuttings of growing plants root easily[206].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Considered a serious agriculture weed in southern New South Wales, Australia. It may also be weedy or invasive in parts of the US.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Amaranthus bidentata 21
Amaranthus blitoidesMat Amaranth20
Amaranthus blitumSlender Amaranth, Purple amaranth41
Amaranthus campestris 21
Amaranthus caudatusLove Lies Bleeding41
Amaranthus cruentusPurple Amaranth, Red amaranth40
Amaranthus diacanthus 20
Amaranthus dubiusSpleen Amaranth20
Amaranthus frumentaceus 20
Amaranthus graecizansSpreading Pigweed, Mediterranean amaranth20
Amaranthus hybridusRough Pigweed, Slim amaranth41
Amaranthus hypochondriacusPrince's Feather, Prince-of-wales feather43
Amaranthus mangostanus 20
Amaranthus mitchelliiBoggabri Weed20
Amaranthus pallidiflorus 20
Amaranthus palmeriCareless Weed20
Amaranthus polygamus 21
Amaranthus polystachyus 20
Amaranthus powelliiPowell's Amaranth20
Amaranthus quitensisAtaco20
Amaranthus retroflexusPigweed, Redroot amaranth, Wild Beet32
Amaranthus spinosusSpiny Amaranth23
Amaranthus standleyanusIndehiscent Pigweed20
Amaranthus tenuifolius 20
Amaranthus thunbergiiThunberg's Pigweed, Thunberg's amaranthus20
Amaranthus torreyiTorrey's amaranthus20
Amaranthus tricolorChinese Spinach, Joseph's-coat, Fountain Plant, Tampala , Summer Poinsettia31
Amaranthus viridisCalalu, Slender amaranth32

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

4350266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Amaranthus albus  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.