by Stephen Mifsud
   13 Jun 2024      ()
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Amaranthus retroflexus   (Rough Pigweed)

Amaranthus retroflexus  (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 retroflexus - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 13-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Amaranthus retroflexusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 991 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Galliaria retroflexa (L.) Nieuwl.
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) :

Rough Pigweed, Redroothed Amaranth, Common Amaranth

Maltese name(s) :

Denb id-dib xewwikija

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 – November

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 )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Several anthropogenic habitats, esp. close to agricultural areas and abandoned fields
Preferred habitat in Malta: Casual escape in wasteground and disturbed dry valleys
Botanical Description: Stems 15-100 cm, erect, lanate in the upper part. Leaves 3-8 cm, rhombic-ovate. Inflorescence spicate, usually short and dense. Bracteoles 3-6 mm, stout and spinescent, 1 1/3-2 times as long as the perianth. Perianth-segments 2-3 mm, linear-cuneate, truncate or obtuse, with short mucro. Fruit dehiscing transversely, feebly muricate.
Chromosome number: 2n=34
Distributional range: Introduced and naturalized throughout most of Europe, but only casual in the north.
Native region outside Europe: (North America.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in Albania, Austria and Liechtenstein, the Azores, Belgium, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Bulgaria, Corse, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, Denmark, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Germany, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sicily and/or Malta, Sweden, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[Ab(A N) nAE AE(G) nAg nAl nAr nAu(A) Az aAz(P T) nBe(B L) nBH nBl nBr nBu By nCa Ca(C L T) nCg nCo nCr nCs nCt nCy nDa nEg nEs aFe aGa(C) nGa(F) nGe nGg Gg(A D G) nGr aHb nHe nHo nHs Hs(A S) nHu nIJ nIr nIt Jo nJu nLa aLe nLi aLS nLt nLu nMa nMd Md(M) Mk nMo aNo nPo nRf(C CS E N NW S) Rf(K) nRm nSa nSi(M S) nSk nSl nSn nSr aSu Sy nTcs nTn nTu(A E) nUk(K) Uk(U)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

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 (12 images)
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-0.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-1.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-2.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-3.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-4.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-5.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-6.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-7.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-8.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-9.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-10.
   Amaranthus retroflexus   -   Image Code: AMRRF-11.

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