Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Smooth Pigweed - Amaranthus hybridus   L.
Members of Amaranthus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Caryophyllales » Family Amaranthaceae
AuthorL.
DistributionThroughout the state; apparently rare on the Outer Banks (South Core Banks and Bogue Banks).

N.S. to B.C., south to FL, TX, and CA. According to FNA, native to eastern N.A.
AbundanceFrequent to common throughout the state.
HabitatMostly disturbed habitats, such as crop fields, fallow fields, waste ground, around farm buildings, vacant lots, etc. FNA says "originally a riverside pioneer in eastern North America."
See also Habitat Account for General Successional Fields and Forblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July - November.
IdentificationThese plants grow mostly 2-5 feet tall, with alternate, stalked, ovate leaves. The stems may be tinged with red-purple. The inflorescences are composed of simple or branched spikes, terminal and also in the axils of upper leaves, and green to reddish green. These plants are variable and not easy to tell from A. retroflexus and A. powellii (see FNA p. 423). The former has female tepals rounded or obtuse at the tip (vs. acute to acuminate). The latter has floral bracts 4-7 mm long (vs. 2-4 mm). The former is scattered across the state but is apparently not native; the latter is not found in NC.
Taxonomic CommentsIn the past, specimens of A. hybridus were often mistaken for retroflexus and powellii; and vice-versa. Taxon editors cannot vouch for the accuracy of all NC identifications, though at least the overall NC range is well established to be statewide.

Other Common Name(s)Green Amaranth, Slender Pigweed, Slim Amaranth, Rough Pigweed, Smooth Amaranth, and other names!
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