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Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Distribution in Egypt

Nile and Mediterranean regions, and Sinai.

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Global Distribution

Warm and tropical regions of the world.

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introduced; Ont., Que.; Ala., Calif., Fla., Ga., La., Md., Mass., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tex., Utah, Va.; Central America; South America; Eurasia; Africa.
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introduced; N.J.; native to Eurasia (Mediterranean area, s Asia); n Africa; locally introduced in Australia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Stem ascending, light green or purple, 10-30 cm tall, branched from base, glabrous. Petiole 1-3.5 cm; leaf blade ovate or ovate-rhombic, 1.5-4.5 × 1-3 cm, base cuneate, margin entire or slightly undulate, apex notched, with a mucro. Flower clusters axillary, those of terminal clusters erect spikes or complex thyrsoid structures. Bracts and bracteoles oblong, shorter than 1 mm. Tepals light green, oblong or lanceolate, 1.2-1.5 mm, with a midvein adaxially, apex acute. Stamens slightly shorter than perianth; stigmas 3 or 2, falling off when utricles ripen. Utricles exceeding perianth, compressed-ovoid, ca. 3 mm, indehiscent, slightly rugose to nearly smooth. Seeds black to brownish black, circular, ca. 1.2 cm in diam. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Aug-Sep. 2n = 34.
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Description

Plants annual, glabrous. Stems ascending to prostrate, sometimes erect, simple or branched, sometimes radiating from base and forming mats, 0.1-0.6 m. Leaves: petiole usually equaling to 2 times as long as blade; blade ovate or obovate, 1-6 × 0.5-4 cm, base tapering or cuneate, margins entire, plane, apex distinctly emarginate to almost bilobate, mucronate. Inflorescences slender terminal spikes or panicles and also axillary clusters, in some forms only axillary clusters are present; spikes erect or sometimes reflexed, green , leafless at least distally. Bracts of pistillate flowers lanceolate, inconspicuous, 0.5 mm, shorter than tepals. Pistillate flowers: tepals 3, elliptic or spatulate, not clawed, equal or subequal, 0.8-1.5 mm, margins entire, apex broadly acute; style branches erect; stigmas 3. Staminate flowers clustered at tips of spikes; tepals 3; stamens 3. Utricles compressed, subglobose to obovate, 1.2-2.5(-3) mm, exceeding tepals, smooth or faintly rugose, indehiscent. Seeds black or dark reddish brown, subglobose or broadly lenticular, (0.8-)1-1.8 mm diam., smooth, shiny, filling fruit almost completely.
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Description

Annual herb, branched from the base and usually also above, erect, decumbent or prostrate, mostly up to c. 45 cm. (rarely to 70 cm.). Stem slender to stout, angular, glabrous or thinly to moderately furnished with short to long, often crisped multicellular hairs which increase upwards, especially in the inflorescence, leaves glabrous or sometimes sparingly furnished on the lower surface of the principal veins with very short, gland-like hairs, long-petiolate (petiole from 3-4.5 mm, sometimes longer than the lamina), lamina broadly ovate or rhomboid-ovate to narrowly linear-lanceolate or linear, 4-55 x 2-30 mm, acute to obtuse or slightly retuse at the mucronulate tip, cuneate to long-attenuate at the base. Flowers all in axillary cymose clusters, male and female intermixed, males commonest in the upper whorls. Bracts and bracteoles narrowly lanceolate-oblong, pale-membranous, acuminate and with a pale or reddish arista formed by the excurrent green midrib, bracteoles subequalling or usually shorter than the perianth. Perianth segments 3, all 1.5-2 mm; those of the male flowers lanceolate-oblong, acute or subacute, pale-membranous with a narrow green midrib excurrent in a short, pale arista; those of the female flowers lanceolate-oblong to linear-oblong, gradually to abruptly narrowed to a very short to rather long mucro, the midrib often bordered by a green vitta above and apparently thickened, the margins pale whitish to greenish. Stigmas 3, slender, usually pale, flexuose, c. 0.5 mm. Capsule subglobose to shortly ovoid, 2-2.25 mm, usually strongly wrinkled throughout with a very short, smooth neck, slightly exceeding the perianth, circumscissile or sometimes not, even on the same plant. Seeds shining, compressed, black, 1-1.25 mm, faintly reticulate.
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Description

Plants annual, pubescent in distal parts or becoming glabrescent at maturity. Stems erect to ascending or decumbent, branched at or distal to base, 0.1-0.9 m. Leaves: petiole variable in length; blade lanceolate to nearly linear or rhombic-ovate to elliptic-ovate, (1.5-)2-4(-5) × 1-3 cm, base cuneate to broadly cuneate, margins entire, plane, rarely indistinctly undulate, apex subacute to obtuse or emarginate, mucronulate. Inflorescences axillary glomerules, green. Bracts lanceolate, subspinescent, 1.5-2 mm, shorter or slightly longer than tepals. Pistillate flowers: tepals 3, erect, elliptic to lanceolate-elliptic, equal or subequal, 1.5-2 mm, apex short-acuminate; style branches slightly spreading; stigmas (2-)3. Staminate flowers intermixed with pistillate; tepals 3, equal or subequal; stamens 3. Utricles subglobose to broadly elliptic, 2-2.5 mm, slightly rugose, dehiscence regularly circumscissile, rarely irregularly dehiscent. Seeds black, lenticular, 1-1.3(-1.6) mm diam., smooth or indistinctly punctate.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Amaranthus ascendens Loiseleur-Deslongchamps; A. lividus Linnaeus; A. lividus var. ascendens (Lois) Thellung-Blom; Euxolus ascendens (Loiseleur-Deslongchamps) H. Hara.
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Synonym

Amaranthus ascendens Loiseleur; A. lividus Linnaeus
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Ecology

Habitat

Weeds of cultivation.

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Habitat & Distribution

Fields, waste places. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Japan, Laos, Nepal, Sikkim, Vietnam; N Africa, Europe, South America].
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Waste places, fields, roadsides, other disturbed habitats; 0-1000m.
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On ballast; 0m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer-fall (almost year-round in tropics, subtropics).
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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering summer-fall.
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Life Expectancy

Annual.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Amaranthus blitum

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Amaranthus blitum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: Cereal

Comments: This potherb possess a fair amount of protein and is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as in minerals. However, it also contains slight amounts of antinutritional factors, especially oxalates and nitrates.

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Wikipedia

Amaranthus blitum

Amaranthus blitum, commonly called purple amaranth is an annual plant species in economically important plant family Amaranthaceae.

Native to the Mediterranean region, it is naturalized in other parts of the world, including much of eastern North America.[1] Although weedy, it is eaten in many parts of the world.[2] The Greeks call the Amaranthus blitum var. silvestre, vlita (Greek: βλίτα), and eat the leaves and the tender shoots cooked in steam or boiled and then served with olive oil, lemon and salt.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AMBL2
  2. ^ Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
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Notes

Comments

The name Amaranthus lividus has been widely used for A. blitum, in addition to other Linnaean names (see F. Fillias et al. 1980; J. P. M. Brenan and C. C. Townsend 1980; R. K. Brummitt 1984). Amaranthus blitum is of tropical origin and not common in temperate regions. It has been cultivated in Europe as a minor leaf-vegetable crop, but now it is declining and its range is becoming progressively smaller. In many temperate countries (in particular in Europe), A. blitum persists mostly as an uncommon and sporadic weed in greenhouses, ornamental gardens, and flower beds. 

 In Europe, it may be possible to distinguish two or three subspecies within Amaranthus blitum. The occurrence and distribution of infraspecific taxa of the A. blitum complex is insufficiently known in North America and requires additional floristic and taxonomic studies, although it appears that the most common is subsp. polygonoides (Moquin-Tandon) Cattetero. Some literature records of A. blitum from southern regions of North America are misidentifications of A. viridis, and vice versa; because of that the distributions of these two species in the flora area require critical reassessment.

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Comments

In North America the name Amaranthus graecizans has been constantly misapplied to the common North American taxa A. albus and A. blitoides. Consequently, A. graecizans has been excluded from lists of North American plants. Recently, herbarium specimens (casual aliens collected in 1879 on ballast in Camden, New Jersey) of A. graecizans subsp. sylvestris were discovered (M. Costea et al. 2001b). Probably, the species disappeared in North America long ago, but, considering the long history of misidentification and confusion, there is also some chance that it may occur locally as an introduced species. 

 Three subspecies are usually recognized within Amaranthus graecizans in the Old World: subsp. graecizans, subsp. sylvestris (Villars) Brenan, and subsp. thellungianus (Nevski) Gusev. Only subsp. sylvestris, characterized by rhombic-ovate to elliptic-ovate leaves (as compared to lanceolate to almost linear leaves in subsp. graecizans) and comparatively large seeds has so far been reported from North America.

Despite its superficial similarity to Amaranthus albus and A. blitoides, A. graecizans seems to be more closely related to other Old World taxa with trimerous flowers.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Gray's manual (Fernald, 1950) said this plant is an adventive from the tropics. Gleason & Cronquist (1991) noted A. blitum as an Old-World weed of unknown origin.

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