by Stephen Mifsud
   23 Jun 2024      ()
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Amaranthus cruentus   (Red Amaranth)

Amaranthus cruentus  (AMARANTHACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Nov-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Amaranthus cruentus - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 23-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Amaranthus cruentusL.
Published in Syst. Nat. ed. 10, 2: 1269 (1759)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Amaranthus paniculatus L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Amaranthaceae Juss. (The Amaranth Family)
42 species from the Amaranthaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Red Amaranth

Maltese name(s) :

Denb id-dib vjola zgħir

Status for Malta :

Naturalised Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World) and spreads and integrates to form established, non-invasive populations. Species may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

May – October

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Amaranthus: From the Greek 'amarantos' meaning unfading. The flowers of several species have a deep purple-red colour (from which the colour amaranth is derived) which retain the colour for a very long time. (Greek origin )
cruentus: Blood red in colour. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Cultivated for ornament, and sometimes occurs as a casual mainly in anthropogenic habitats
Preferred habitat in Malta: Casual escape in wasteground and disturbed dry valleys
Botanical Description: Stems 20-100 cm, erect, sparsely to densely pubescent above. Leaves 3-8 cm, rhombic-ovate. Inflorescence terminal, elongate-spicate, often compound, usually with dense and with short branches at the base. Bracteoles 2-4 mm, with short mucro, 1-1½ times as long as the perianth. Perianth-segments 5, 1.5-2(-2.4) mm, narrowly ovate, usually acute, about as long as the fruit. Stamens 5. Fruit dehiscing transversely.
Chromosome number: 2n=34
Distributional range: Commonly naturalized, mainly in S. & C. Europe
Native region outside Europe: (Tropical and subtropical America.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Germany, Switzerland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[aAE(G) nAg nAl aAu(A) nAu(L) aAz(F M) Az(G T) aBe(B) nBl aBr nBu By Ca(C H L P T) Cg nCo nCr aCs Ct nCy aDa nEg aEs aFe nGa(F) aGe aGg aGr nHe nHs aHs(S) nHu nIJ nIr nIt Jo aJu aLa nLi aLt nLu nMa aMo nPo Rf(C CS E NW S) nRm nSa Si nSi(M S) aSk Sl nSn aSr aSu Sy aTcs nTn nTu(A E) Uk aUk(K U)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

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Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (9 images)
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-0.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-1.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-2.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-3.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-4.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-5.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-6.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-7.
   Amaranthus cruentus   -   Image Code: AMRCR-8.

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