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This species is accepted, and its native range is Mexico to Tropical America. It is used as animal food and a medicine, for food and for pollution control.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology General Habit
Erect annual, mostly up to 90(–150) cm, similar in habit to A. spinosus and with similar leaf-size and shape, but often less coarse
Morphology General Spines
Paired axillary spines absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Lower flower clusters axillary, female, 4–10 mm in diam.; upper clusters leafless, forming simple or (the terminal at least) branched spikes 3–15(–25) cm long and 6–8(–10) cm wide, the spikes male for up to c. the apical 1 cm
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Tepal
Tepals of female flowers (4–)5, 1.5–2.75 mm, oblong or spathulate-oblong, obtuse or sometimes (especially towards the male flowers) acute, mucronulate, usually with a greenish dorsal vitta above
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigmas 3
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule ovoid-urceolate, c. 1.5–1.75 mm, with a short inflated beak below the style-base, circumscissile, the lid strongly rugulose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds faintly reticulate, lenticular.
S1, 2 of tropical American origin, now widespread in the tropics of both Old and New Worlds.
A. dubius is the only known polyploid Amaranthus, but its origin remains uncertain. Hybrids are said to be frequent where it occurs in association with A. spinosus; the two species are very similar apart from the axillary spines of the latter. Srivasta, Pal & Nair in Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 23: 287–291 (1977) claim that the pollen of A. dubius has larger pores than that of A. spinosus, and that the hybrids are distinguishable by the presence of micrograins among the pollen.


The Useful Plants of Boyacá project

Alt. 0 - 2000 m.
Morphology General Habit
Native from Colombia.


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Nativa en Colombia; Alt. 0 - 2000 m.; Amazonia, Andes, Guayana y Serranía de La Macarena, Islas Caribeñas, Llanura del Caribe, Orinoquia, Pacífico, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Valle del Cauca, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
No Evaluada


Use Animal Food
Used to feed pigs when food is scarce (Correa & Bernal 1989).
Use Environmental Pollution Control
Used for phytoremediation of chromium, mercury, arsenic, lead, copper and nickel; bioaccumulator (Mellen 2008).
Use Food
Sold in the markets of Rio de Janeiro (Correa & Bernal 1989).
Use Food Vegetables
Leaves - Used in salads (Correa & Bernal 1989).
Use Medicines Genitourinary System Disorders
Used as a diuretic (Correa & Bernal 1989).
Use Medicines Infections & Infestations
Used in the treatment of fever (Correa & Bernal 1989).
Use Medicines Inflammation
Used in poultices in the treatment of inflamed open wounds (Correa & Bernal 1989).
Use Medicines Skin or Subcutaneous Cellular Tissue Disorders
External use in the treatment of allergic skin problems (Correa & Bernal 1989).
Use Medicines Unspecified Medicinal Disorders
Medicinal (State of the World's Plants 2016, Instituto Humboldt 2014).

Native to:

Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Cayman Is., Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Galápagos, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Leeward Is., Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, Southwest Caribbean, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Windward Is.

Introduced into:

Aldabra, Argentina Northeast, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Repu, China Southeast, Christmas I., Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Florida, Gilbert Is., Gulf of Guinea Is., Hawaii, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesser Sunda Is., Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nauru, New Guinea, Nigeria, Oman, Phoenix Is., Rwanda, Réunion, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Society Is., Socotra, Somalia, Sri Lanka, St.Helena, Sudan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tuamotu, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Marog, wild spinach
Bledo, bledo blanco, calalú, curucu, yuyo, amaranto, pira.

Amaranthus tortuosus Hornem. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
May 1, 2006 Darbyshire, I. [331], Cameroon Amaranthus dubius K000339695
May 1, 2006 Darbyshire, I. [335], Cameroon Amaranthus dubius K000339698
Sep 18, 1971 Purseglove, J.W. [1813], Uganda Amaranthus dubius K000190112 holotype
Sep 18, 1971 Geilinger [3011], Tanzania Amaranthus dubius K000190113 isolectotype
Eiten, G. [10415], Brazil Amaranthus dubius K001207040
Eiten, G. [10304], Brazil Amaranthus dubius K001207041

First published in Hort. Bot. Hafn., Suppl.: 107 (1819)


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Ghazanfar, S.A. & Edmandson, J.R. (eds.) (2016). Flora of Iraq 5(1): 1-284. Ministry of Agriculture & Agrarian Reform, Baghdad.
  • Villaseñor, J.L. (2016). Checklist of the native vascular plants of Mexico Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 87: 559-902.
  • Bayón, N.D. (2015). Revisión taxonómica de las especies monoicas de Amaranthus (Amaranthaceae): Amaranthus subg. Amaranthus y Amaranthus subg. Albersia Annals from the Missouri Botanical Garden 101: 261-383. MBG press.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Mostaph, M.K. & Uddin, S.B. (2013). Dictionary of plant names of Bangladesh, Vasc. Pl.: 1-434. Janokalyan Prokashani, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • Kuo, M.L. (ed.) (2012). Flora of Taiwan, ed. 2, Suppl.: 1-414. Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan, Second Edition, National Taiwan University.
  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
  • Mosti, S., Raffaelli, M. & Tardelli, M. (2012). Contributions to the flora of central-southern Dhofar (Sultanate of Oman) Webbia; Raccolta de Scritti Botanici 67: 65-91.
  • Lambdon, P. (2012). Flowering plants & ferns of St Helena: 1-624. Pisces publications for St Helena nature conservation group.
  • Figueiredo, E., Paiva, J., Stévart, T., Oliveira, F. & Smith, G.F. (2011). Annotated catalogue of the flowering plants of São Tomé and Príncipe Bothalia, A Journal of Botanical Research 41: 41-82.
  • Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.
  • Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
  • Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
  • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2003). Flora of North America North of Mexico 4: 1-559. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
  • Boggan, J. Funck, V. & Kelloff, C. (1997). Checklist of the Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, Franch Guiana) ed. 2: 1-238. University of Guyana, Georgetown.
  • Fosberg, F.R. & Stoddard, D.R. (1994). Flora of the Phoenix Islands, Central Pacific Atoll Research Bulletin 393: 1-60.
  • Thaman, R.R., Fosberg, F.R., Manner, H.I. & Hassall, D.C. (1994). The Flora of Nauru Atoll Research Bulletin 392: 1-223.
  • Cirilo, N. & Proctor, G.R. (1994). Vascular plants of the Caribbean Swan islands of Honduras Brenesia 41-42: 73-80.
  • Bosser, J. & al. (eds.) (1994). Flore des Mascareignes 136-148: 1. IRD Éditions, MSIRI, RBG-Kew, Paris.
  • George, A.S., Orchard, A.E. & Hewson, H.J. (eds.) (1993). Oceanic islands 2 Flora of Australia 50: 1-606. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
  • Thulin, M. (ed.) (1993). Flora of Somalia 1: 1-493. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Lebrun, J.p., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • Launert, E. (ed.) (1988). Flora Zambesiaca 9(1): 1-179. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Fosberg, F.R. & Sachet, M.-H. (1987). Flora of the Gilbert Island, Kiribati, Checklist Atoll Research Bulletin 295: 1-33.
  • Townsend, C.C. (1985). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Amaranthaceae: 1-136.
  • Dassanayake (ed.) (1980). A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon 1: 1-508. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. PVT. LTD., New Delhi, Calcutta.
  • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 1: 1-114. ORSTROM, Bangui.
  • Van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (ed.) (1960-1972). Flora Malesiana 6: 1-1023. Noordhoff-Kolff N.V., Djakarta.
  • Van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (ed.) (1955-1958). Flora Malesiana 5: 1-595. Noordhoff-Kolff N.V., Djakarta.
  • Hutchinson, J., Dalziel, J.M. & Keay, R.W.J. (1954-1958). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 1-828.

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Useful Plants of Boyacá Project
ColPlantA database