Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 14 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Amaranthus gangeticus L.; Amaranthus mangostanus L.; Amaranthus polygamus L.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: enmosa biaja

Chinese: hin choi, hong xian, hou ting hua, xian, xian cai, yan lai hong, yin choi,

English: amaranth, amaranth spinach, Chinese amaranth, Chinese-spinach, Joseph's-coat, pigweed, summer-poinsettia, tampala

Fijian: ndriti ndamundamu, tumbua

French: amarante comestible, amarante de gange, amarante du gange, amarante tricolore, pariétaire sauvage

Japanese: ganraikou, hageito, hiyu, hiyu na

Korean: saegbireum, saek maen deu ra mi, sigumchee

Spanish: amaranto, moco de pavo

Thai: phak khom suan

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Plants annual, glabrous. Stems erect, often branched, 0.8-1.5 m. Leaves: petiole 1/2 as long as blade; blade ovate, elliptic, rhombic, or lanceolate, mostly 4-12 x 1.4-6 cm, base tapering, margins entire, usually undulate, apex acuminate and short-mucronate; distal leaf blades green, red, scarlet, maroon, purple, yellow, and cream (unique to A. tricolor). Inflorescences axillary glomerules. Bracts of pistillate flowers ovate to lanceolate, 5-6 mm. Pistillate flowers: tepals 3, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 5-6 mm, apex aristate; style branches spreading; stigmas 2-3. Staminate flowers intermixed with pistillate; tepals 3; stamens 3. Utricles ovoid, 2-2.5 mm, rugose, dehiscence regularly circumscissile. Seeds black or brownish black, subglobose, 1 mm in diameter, shiny"  (Flora of North America online).

Description from Flora of China online.
Description from Flora of Pakistan online.

Habitat/ecology:  In the United States, "locally escaped from cultivation, disturbed areas"  (Flora of North America online).

Propagation:  Seed. Seeds spread in livestock manure and by ants (Staples et al., 2000; p. 15).

Native range:  Probable origin tropical Asia, widely cultivated and naturalized in the tropics (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Matuku Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 286-287)
Voucher cited: Moseley s.n.
Often naturalizing.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Rotuma Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1938) (voucher ID: BISH 619259)
Taxon name on voucher: Amaranthus tricolor L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 286-287)
Vouchers cited: DA 8853, DA 10774; forms without colored leaves, Seemann 366
Often naturalizing.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 286-287)
Vouchers cited: DA 10307, DA 10308, DA 10441, DA 2372, DA 5956, DA 11315, DA 9503; forms without colored leaves, DA 10680, DA 10681
Often naturalizing.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
Voucher cited: E.P. Mumford & A.M. Adamson 85 (UC)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rapa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 69)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Voucher cited: Thompson, J. B. 362 (US 712814)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1992) (voucher ID: BISH 629193)
Taxon name on voucher: Amaranthus tricolor L.
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 61)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 11)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 27275, MacKee 28332
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 41)
Seen cultivated at the Vaipapahi Experimental Farm in 1965. Voucher cited: CHR 169888
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
New Britain Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1937) (voucher ID: BISH 128476)
Taxon name on voucher: Amaranthus tricolor L.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1972) (voucher ID: BISH 400157)
Taxon name on voucher: Amaranthus tricolor L.
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island introduced
Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
cultivated
Randall, R. P. (2007) (p. 38)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 103)
Possibly naturalized in disturbed areas.
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
LA, MI, MO, MS


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This page was created on 14 DEC 2012 and was last updated on 20 DEC 2012.