Ontario Weeds: Tumble pigweed

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Flowers and Fruit
  7. Habitat
  8. Similar Species
  9. Related Links

Name: Tumble pigweed, Amaranthus albus L.,

Other Names: amarante blanche, Amaranth, Tumbling amaranth, Tumbleweed, Tumbling pigweed, White pigweed, herbe roulante

Family: Amaranth Family (Amaranthaceae)

General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Tumble pigweed (A - bushy-branched plant; B - tips of branches with short, axillary spikes of flowers).
Tumble pigweed (A - bushy-branched plant; B - tips of branches with short, axillary spikes of flowers).

Tumble pigweed. A. Portion of erect branhc. B. Short axillary branch with several clusters of flowers.
Tumble pigweed.
A. Portion of erect branhc. B. Short axillary branch with several clusters of flowers.

Stems & Roots: Very much like Prostrate pigweed but its main branches more or less erect, up to 1m (3¼ft) high, bushy-branched, yellowish-green to whitish in colour. Young leaves up to 8cm (3¼in.) long, the blade rounded or paddle-shaped

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers very similar to those of Prostrate pigweed, but the bracts around the sepals firmer, sharper, and longer (about 6mm, ¼in.), being about twice as long as the flowers, these borne in small clusters on short branches in the axils of leaves as with Prostrate pigweed; seed round, flattened, less than 1mm (1/25in.) in diameter. Flowers from July to August.

Habitat: Tumble pigweed occurs throughout Ontario, being more common in the southern portion in cultivated fields, wasteland, roadsides and gardens, usually on coarse or sandy soils.

Similar Species: It is distinguished from Prostrate pigweed by its erect, whitish stems, smaller seeds, and its spiny-tipped long-bracted flower clusters; and from Red-root, Smooth and Green pigweed by its smaller leaves, its flowers in small clusters in axils of leaves along the branches, and the absence of large, terminal inflorescences.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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