Amaranthaceae Juss. 1789 nom. cons.

pronounced am-ah-ran-THAY-see-eye

the amaranth family

 Amaranthaceae dry & papery bractsis derived from the Greek αμαραντος (amarantos), unfading, and refers to the inflorescence which in many of the member species does indeed last a long time without withering or fading. Members of the family are mostly herbs, but there are also some shrubs and small trees. The leaves can be either alternate or opposite, and are simple, without stipules, and usually entire. The flowers may be either bisexual or unisexual; they are typically very small, with persistent dry and papery bracts and bracteoles. There is also a minute perianth of 3 – 5 membranous or papery sepals. There are usually 5 stamens opposite the sepals, and these are generally united for all or part of their length. The compound pistil, usually of 2 – 3 carpels, has 1 – 3 styles and a superior ovary. The fruit is usually a utricle or a circumscissile capsule. This family now also incorporates plants previously classified under Chenopodiaceae.


 Alternanthera bettzickiana - Red Calico Plant

Alternanthera ficoidea - Joseph's Coat

Amaranthus cruentus - Red Amaranth

Amaranthus viridis - Green Amaranth

Beta vulgaris Cicla group - Silver Beet

Gomphrena celosioides - Gomphrena Weed

Gomphrena globosa - Bachelor's Button

Salsola australe (syn.) - Roly-Poly

Salsola kali - Roly-Poly

Salsola tragus (syn.) - Roly-Poly

Suaeda arbusculoides - Jelly Bean Plant

Tecticornia indica ssp. indica - Samphire


Photograph © Donald Simpson 2010

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