Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Amaranthus blitum
L., Amaranthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Amaranthus lividus L.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: ao tou xian

English: Guernsey pigweed, livid amaranth, purple amaranth, slender amaranth

French: amarante livide

Spanish: bledo

Tahitian: upooti

Tongan: tupu‘a

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Monoecious annual herbs; stems sometimes tinged reddish or yellowish; erect, ascending, or prostrate, 0.6-6 (-9) dm long, unbranched or branched, striate, glabrous, rarely with unicellular to multicellular short hairs, especially above.  Leaves ovate to rhombic-ovate, blades 1-8 cm long, 0.6-6 cm wide, glabrous, rarely the lower surface with scattered multicellular hairs along the veins, apex usually broad, widely emarginate, petioles 0.5-10 cm long.  Flowers green, in slendere to stout axillary or terminal spikes, rarely panicles, both sexes mixed throughout the spikes, bracts and bracteoles whitish, deltate-ovate to lanceolate, membranous, tipped with a short yellow or reddish mucro; sepals 3 (4), lanceolate-oblong to spatulate, 0.7-2 mm long, apex subacute, mucronate, apex of pistillate flowers often more blunt; stigmas 2-3.  Fruit globose to pyriform, compressed, exceeding the sepals, 1.2-2.5 mm long, indehiscent or rupturing irregularly at maturity, the surface smooth, occasionally wrinkled upon drying.  Seeds dark brown to black, shiny, the margins duller, compressed, 1-1.8 mm long, faintly reticulate, minutely punctate-roughened"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 188).

Description from the Flora of China online.
Description from the Flora of North America online.

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "apparently sparingly naturalized in disturbed areas "(Wagner et al., 1999; p. 188).  In Papua New Guinea, "a weed of cultivation and plantations, to some extent grown in food gardens, the leaves being used as spinach" (Henty & Pritchard, 1975; p. 54); occurring as a weed along roads, in clearings and plantations, at 1200-2000 m altitude"  (Womersley, 1978; p.27). "Occasional in vegetable crops and disturbed places" (Whistler, 1988; p. 6). In New Zealand, "waste places, cultivated ground; uncommon" (Webb et al., 1988; p. 103).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Europe, Africa and/or Asia; exact native range obscure; widely naturalized (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 88)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   Anon. (1988) (p. 1)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 18)
"A weed of disturbed ground". Vouchers cited: J. Pickard 2952 (NSW), A.C. Beauglehole 5522 (MEL), J.D. McComish 198 (NSW)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 7)
"A weed of disturbed ground". Vouchers cited: R.O. Gardner 5769 (AK), P.S. Green 2445 (K), P.S. Green 2444 (K)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
As Amaranthus lividus = Amaranthus blitum L. subsp. oleraceus (L.) Costea
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Alcedo, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
As Amaranthus lividus
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
As Amaranthus lividus = Amaranthus blitum L. subsp. oleraceus (L.) Costea
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
As Amaranthus lividus = Amaranthus blitum L. subsp. oleraceus (L.) Costea
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Mehetia (Mahetia, Meetia) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (2004) (pp. 61-62)
subsp. polygonoides (C.H.B.A. Moquin-Tandon) R. Probst
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Mehetia (Mahetia, Meetia) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Amaranthus lividus C. Linnaeus. Voucher cited: J. Florence 10296 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (2004) (pp. 61-62)
subsp. polygonoides (C.H.B.A. Moquin-Tandon) R. Probst
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
subsp. polygonoides (C.H. Moquin-Tandon) R. Probst. "Mauvaise herbe dans l'ombrière du jardin". Voucher cited: J. Florence 2814 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
subsp. polygonoides (C.H. Moquin-Tandon) R. Probst
Adventice
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 188)
Sparingly naturalized.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 188)
Sparingly naturalized.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 188)
Voucher cited: K. Nagata 910 (BISH)
Sparingly naturalized.
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 68)
var. oleraceus
Niue
Niue
Niue Island invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 6)
Voucher cited: Sykes 341
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Henty, E. E./Pritchard, G. H. (1975) (p. 54)
From near sea level to over 2000 m.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
Womersley, John S., ed. (1978) (pp. 26-27)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 6)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 6)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 107)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15643
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 2)
Voucher cited: Soakai 970
Tuvalu
Tuvalu (Ellis) Islands
Tuvalu Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 88)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll introduced
invasive
Bruegmann, Marie M. (1999) (p. 1)
subsp. polygonoides (Moq.) Probst; voucher cited: Bruegmann 2018 (BISH)
Naturalized but rare.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Fields, waste places.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 78)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (p. 63)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 103)
As A. lividus L.
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 12)
ssp. oleraceus (L.) Costea. Naturalised
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Fields, waste places.
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (p. 63)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 21 FEB 2013.