Amaranthus caudatus L.

Sp. Pl. 2: 990 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Erect annual to 1.5 m high. Stems grooved, glabrous or glabrescent. Leaves long-petiolate, ovate to elliptic, lamina 3–12 cm long, 2–8 cm wide; margins entire; apex acute, sometimes shortly mucronate. Spikes dense, usually branching, drooping, terminal or in upper axils, to 30 cm long, 10–20 mm diam., reddish. Flowers unisexual; bracts and bracteoles lanceolate, c. 2 mm long, spinescent; tepals 5, obovate to spathulate, c. 2 mm long, obtuse or emarginate, often mucronate; stamens 5. Utricle circumsciss, subequal to perianth; seed discoid, 1–1.5 mm diam., dark brown or greyish, shiny. Flowers Mar.–Jun.

*Gold, *VRiv. Native to South America or possibly Central America. Sparingly established in urban area in Bendigo, among building rubble, and among exotic vegetation at Merri Creek in Coburg.

This species may have arisen through selection of cultivated forms of A. hybridus or other closely related species. Commonly cultivated for its large and colourful inflorescence.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2015-05-08
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-04-18
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Amaranthaceae
genus Amaranthus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Amaranthus caudatus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Amaranthus caudatus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present cultivated
Victorian Riverina present introduced
Gippsland Plain present cultivated
Goldfields present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory