Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ariz., N.Mex., Tex., Utah; n Mexico (Chihuahua).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants glabrous or glabrescent. Stems erect, much-branched, 0.1-0.8 m; proximal branches ascending. Leaves: petiole shorter than blade; blade narrowly linear-lanceolate to linear, 2-8 × 0.2-1.2(-1.7) cm, base narrowly cuneate to narrowly decurrent, margins erose, crispate, or irregularly undulate, apex acute to subobtuse. Inflorescences terminal spikes, erect, usually stiff. Bracts completely enfolding flower; of pistillate flowers with prominent excurrent midrib, venation distinct, broadly triangular to deltate, 5+ mm, longer than tepals, margins erose, crenate, or denticulate, apex acute or acuminate; of staminate flowers shorter than tepals, apex acute. Pistillate flowers: outer tepals rudimentary, less that 1.2 mm; inner tepals with venation distinct, 3-4(-5) mm, apex acute, with terminal mucro; style branches spreading; stigmas 3. Staminate flowers: tepals 5, equal or subequal, 2-3 mm, margins erose to denticulate, outer tepals with apex subobtuse to acute-acuminate; inner tepals with apex distinctly acuminate or mucronulate; stamens 5. Utricles light brown, elliptic to obovate-elliptic, 2(-2.5) mm, shorter than outer tepals, slightly rugose to smooth. Seeds dark reddish brown to brown, 1-1.3 mm diam., shiny.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Acanthochiton wrightii Torrey in L. Sitgreaves, Rep. Exped. Zuni Colorado Rivers, 170, plate 13. 1853
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Ecology

Habitat

Sandy areas, sand dunes, riverbanks, disturbed habitats; 1000-2000m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer-fall.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Amaranthus acanthochiton

Amaranthus acanthochiton (Greenstripe), is an annual plant species of the genus Amaranthus in the Amaranthaceae family. It is native to the southwestern United States (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah) and northern Mexico (Chihuahua), growing at altitudes of 1000-2000 m where it is uncommon.

It is a dioecious plant growing to 10-80 cm tall. The leaves are slender, 2-8 cm long and 2-12 mm broad. The flowers are pale green, produced in dense terminal spikes. The seeds are brown, 1-1.3 mm diameter, contained in a 2-2.5 mm achene.

It is critically endangered in Utah, and endangered in Arizona (though no status has been set).

The seeds and young leaves were used by the Hopi Indians as a food source. The seeds were cooked as a form of porridge, while the leaves were used as greens.

References[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Amaranthus acanthochiton is very different morphologically from other taxa of dioecious amaranths. In its vegetative and floral morphology, it is similar to the monoecious A. fimbriatus, especially in branching habit, narrow linear to linear-lanceolate leaf blade, and broadly spatulate to almost fan-shaped tepals of the pistillate flowers. These species are also similar phytogeographically, occurring within the southwestern part of the United States and neighboring northern Mexico. The "dioecious amaranths" are an artificial and polyphyletic group consisting of at least two (or three) independently evolved lineages roughly corresponding to the sections of subg. Acnida outlined by S. L. Mosyakin and K. R. Robertson (1996). 

 Amaranthus acanthochiton is critically imperiled in Utah and imperiled in Arizona; its Global Heritage Status Rank is G5 as defined by The Nature Conservancy. Seeds and young leaves of A. acanthochiton were used by Native Americans (Hopi) as food: the seeds cooked as a kind of porridge, and the leaves cooked and eaten as greens or with meat (D. E. Moerman 1998).

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