Axyris amaranthoides (Russian Pigweed) - photos and description

 


Terminal staminate flower spike above, pistillate flowers below.

General: Annual weed with an upright growth habit and with many ascending branches. Stems puberulent. Plants turn straw-coloured at maturity.

Flowers: Plants are monoecious - having separate male and female flowers, both growing on the same plant. Flowers are greenish, tiny (making them difficult to photograph). Staminate (male) flowers in terminal spikes, we measured a staminate flower spike at 3 mm long. Pistillate (female) flowers grow below the staminate flowers along the stem in the axils of bract-like leaves. Female flowers measured at 3 mm long. Bracteoles of the female flowers ovate, longer than the flowers, we measured a bracteole at 5 mm long.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, lanceolate, with tiny forked hairs on upper surface, ciliate, and with forked or stellate hairs on the lower leaf surface. The leaf highlighted above was 4.5 cm long by 1.5 cm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, we measured plants growing from 17 cm to 95 cm tall.

Habitat: A weed of cultivated fields, roadsides, and waste ground.

Abundance: Listed as common; I've only seen it a couple of times.

Origin: Introduced.

When and where photographed: Photos taken August 14th, walking trail on old sand dune in poplar woods, about 20 km east of our home in Regina, SK.