1. AMARÁNTHUS
   [Tourn.] L. Sp. P. 989.  1753. (1: 1)

Annual branched erect or diffusely spreading glabrous or pubescent herbs, most of the species weeds, with alternate, petioled pinnately veined entire, undulate or crisped leaves and small monoecious polygamous or dioecious green or purplish mostly 3-bracteolate flowers in dense terminal spikes or axiallary clusters.  Calyx of 2-5 distinct sepals.  Stamens 2-5 ; anthers 2-celled, longitudinally dehiscent.  Styles or stigmas 2 or 3.  Fruit an ovoid or oblong utricle, circumscissile, bursting irregularly or indehiscent, 2-3 beaked by the persistent styles.  Embryo annular.  [Greek, unfading flower, from the dry, unwithering bracts.]

About 50 species of wide geographic distribution.  Besides the following some 22 others occur in the southern and western United States.  Type species: Amaranthus caudàtus L.

Utricle circumscissle, the top falling away as a lid.
Flowers, at least the upper, in dense terminal spikes.
Axils not spine-bearing.
Sepals oblong to lanceolate.
Spikes stout, 4"-7" thick                                        1. A. retroflexus.
Spikes slender, 2" - 3" thick                                   2. A. hybridus.
Sepals spatulate                                                               3. A. Palmeri.
A pair of stout spines in each axil.                                               4. A. spinosus.
Flowers all in small axillary clusters, mostly shorter than the leaves.
Plant prostrate ; bracts oblong ; utricle smooth                            5. A. blitoides.
Plant erect, bushy-branched ; bracts subulate ; utricle wrinkled.   6. A. graecizans.
Utricle indehiscent, menbranous, coriacous or fleshy.
Upper flowers in terminal, more or less elongated spikes.
Sepals 5-clawed ; flowers dioeciuos ; southwester species. 7. A. Torreyi
Sepals 2 or 3, oblong or psatulate ; flowers monoecious or polygamous ; in waste places.
Utricle smooth, dry, scariuos.                                             8. A. lividus.
 Utricle fleshy, 3-5 nerved.                                                 9. A. Deflexus.
Flowers all in small axillary clusters shorter than the leaves.
Plant not fleshy ; stem prostrate ; leaves crisped.                         10. A. crispus
 Sea-cost fleshy plant ; stem short, erect ; leaves not crisped.      11. A. pumilus.


Sources:

Nathanie1 L. Britton amd Addison Lord Brown,
An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions from Newfoundland to the Parallel of the Southern Boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean Westward to the 102d Meridian, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913

Wisconsin State Herbarium, University of Wisconsin - Madison, WISFLORA: Wisconsin Vascular Plant Specie
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