1. Family: Amaranthaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Amaranthus L.
      1. Amaranthus thunbergii Moq.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Eritrea to S. Africa.

    [FZ]

    Amaranthaceae, C. C. Townsend. Flora Zambesiaca 9:1. 1988

    Habit
    Annual herb, ascending or erect, simple or branched from the base and frequently also above, reaching 15–55 cm.
    Stem
    Stem and branches stout, angular, glabrous or thinly hairy below, upwards increasingly furnished with long, crisped, multicellular, rather flocculent hairs.
    Leaves
    Leaves glabrous, or thinly pilose on the inferior surface of the primary venation, sometimes with a dark purple blotch, long-petiolate (petioles up to c. 4 cm. long, sometimes longer than the lamina), the lamina narrowly or broadly elliptic to rhomboid or spathulate, c. (5) 15–45 (60) × (4) 10–30 (40) mm., blunt or retuse at the apex with the midrib excurrent in a short mucro, at the base cuneate to attenuate, more or less decurrent along the petiole.
    Flowers
    Flowers green, males most frequent at the top of the upper clusters, all in axillary clusters 6–15 mm. across, approximate above, usually increasingly distant towards the base of the stem and branches with male and female flowers intermixed.
    Bracts
    Bracts and bracteoles deltoid-lanceolate, bracteoles subequalling or shorter than the perianth, pale-membranous, often greenish centrally above, the midrib often excurrent in a long, fine awn often as long as the basal portion, bracteoles shorter (to 2 mm. long), the awn colourless and often more or less reflexed above.
    Perianth
    Perianth segments 3, similar in male and female flowers, lanceolate to oblong, or in the females rarely narrowly spathulate, 3–6 mm., pale-membranous or (especially in the female flowers) somewhat greenish above, gradually or more abruptly narrowed into the long (0.75–1.5 mm.) awn formed by the excurrent midrib, the latter green but the divergent or flexuose awn colourless above; fruiting female perianth segments slightly accrescent, wider than those of the male flowers.
    Stigma
    Stigmas 3, flexuose or often reflexed, pale, 1.5–2 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Capsule ovoid-ellipsoid to pyriform, c. 2.5–3.5 mm. long, with a short beak, circumcissile, membranous, obscurely wrinkled, shorter than the perianth (attaining the base of the aristate apices).
    Seeds
    Seed 1–1.5 mm. across, black or chestnut, shining, feebly reticulate.
    [FTEA]

    Amaranthaceae, C.C. Townsend. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1985

    Habit
    Annual herb, ascending or erect, simple or branched from the base and frequently also above, 15–55 cm.
    Stem
    Stem and branches stout, angular, glabrous or thinly hairy below, upwards increasingly furnished with long crisped multicellular rather flocculent hairs.
    Leaves
    Leaves glabrous or thinly pilose on the lower surface of the primary nervation, sometimes with a dark purple blotch, long-petiolate (petioles up to ± 4 cm., sometimes longer than the lamina); lamina narrowly or broadly elliptic to rhomboid or spathulate, ± (5–)15–45(–60) × (4–)10–30(–40) mm., blunt or retuse at the apex with the midrib excurrent in a short mucro, at the base cuneate to attenuate, ± decurrent along the petiole.
    Flowers
    Flowers green, ♂ flowers most frequent at the top of the upper clusters, all in axillary clusters 6–15 mm. in diameter, usually increasingly distant towards the base of the stem and branches, ♂ and ♀ flowers intermixed.
    Bracts
    Bracts and bracteoles deltoid-lanceolate, bracts subequalling or slightly exceeding the perianth, pale and membranous, often greenish centrally above, the midrib excurrent in a long fine awn often as long as the basal portion, bracteoles shorter (to 2 mm. long), awn colourless and ± reflexed above.
    Perianth
    Perianth-segments 3, similar in ♂ and ♀, lanceolate to oblong or rarely narrowly spathulate, 3–6 mm., pale and membranous or (especially in ♀) somewhat greenish above, gradually or more abruptly narrowed into the 0.75–1.5 mm. awn formed by the excurrent midrib, the latter green but the awn colourless above; fruiting perianth-segments slightly accrescent, wider than those of the ♂ flowers.
    Stigma
    Stigmas 3, flexuous or often reflexed, pale, 1.5–2 mm.
    Fruits
    Capsule pyriform with a short beak, ± 2.5–3.5 mm., circumscissile, membranous, obscurely wrinkled, shorter than the perianth (attaining ± the base of the aristate tips).
    Seeds
    Seed 1–1.5 mm., black or chestnut, shining, feebly reticulate, Fig. 4/3.
    Habitat
    Weed of cultivation, grazed grassland, grassland on rocky soil; 1100–1640 m.
    Distribution
    tropical Africa from Ethiopia and Somalia to Zaire and Angola, through to Namibia and South Africaintroduced into Australia and thence to Europe as a frequent casual wool adventive K4 T7 U1

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Cape Provinces, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Free State, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Germany, South Carolina, St.Helena

    Amaranthus thunbergii Moq. appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in A.P.de Candolle, Prodr. 13(2): 262 (1849)

    Accepted by

    • Bayón, N.D. (2015). Revisión taxonómica de las especies monoicas de Amaranthus (Amaranthaceae): Amaranthus subg. Amaranthus y Amaranthus subg. Albersia Annals from the Missouri Botanical Garden 101: 261-383. MBG press.
    • Lambdon, P. (2012). Flowering plants & ferns of St Helena: 1-624. Pisces publications for St Helena nature conservation group.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2003). Flora of North America North of Mexico 4: 1-559. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Edwards, S., Tadesse, M., Demissew, S. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (2000). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 2(1): 1-532. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 529. MIM, Deurne.
    • Launert, E. (ed.) (1988). Flora Zambesiaca 9(1): 1-179. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Townsend, C.C. (1985). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Amaranthaceae: 1-136.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Bayón, N.D. (2015). Revisión taxonómica de las especies monoicas de Amaranthus (Amaranthaceae): Amaranthus subg. Amaranthus y Amaranthus subg. Albersia Annals from the Missouri Botanical Garden 101: 261-383. MBG press.
    • Lambdon, P. (2012). Flowering plants & ferns of St Helena: 1-624. Pisces publications for St Helena nature conservation group.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2003). Flora of North America North of Mexico 4: 1-559. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Launert, E. (ed.) (1988). Flora Zambesiaca 9(1): 1-179. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Townsend, C.C. (1985). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Amaranthaceae: 1-136.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Cufod., Enumeratio Plantarum Aethiopiae Spermatophyta (Supplement in Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux.) p. 60 (1953).
    • Hauman in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 2: 32 (1951).
    • Moq. in DC., Prodr. 13(2): 262 (1849).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Plants and People Africa
    Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/