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This is a typical field weed. Prostrate Pigweed is easy to identify because of its prostrate habit and spoon-shaped leaves. Other Amaranth spp. (Pigweeds, Amaranths) in Illinois are more erect and their leaves are more lanceolate in shape. An exception is Amaranthus tuberculatus var. prostratus (Prostrate Water Hemp). This rare plant has a prostrate habit, but its leaves are lanceolate, rather than spoon-shaped, and its female flowers have fewer sepals. Prostrate Pigweed superficially resembles Portulaca oleracea (Common Purslane). However, this latter species produces small flowers with yellow petals and its leaves lack the conspicuous lateral veins that can be found on the leaves of Prostrate Pigweed. Some authorities use the scientific synonym Amaranthus graecizans for Prostrate Pigweed.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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