Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Amaranthaceae, Amaranth or Pigweed Family
Includes the Chenopodiaceae

According to The Plant List there are 178 plant genera and 2,052 accepted species names. In North America there are 57 genera and 546 accepted taxa overall

Amaranthaceae or the Amaranth Family consists of annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs often in alkaline or salt heavy habitats. They have primitive or simple reproductive characteristics, perianth 1 to 5 tepals often joined. fruits capsule (circumscissile). Leaves are simple, mostly alternate and some almost vestigial reduced to small scales. They are mostly without large showy flowers and elaborate fruits with advanced strategies for seed dispersal.

Amaranthaceae now include the Chenopodiaceae or Goosefoot Family as they share many of the same characteristics.

Amaranths have few economically important species but some are significant such as spinach and chard both of which provide substantial amounts of protein. Other notable species are major weeds in North America. Many members of the family are weedy and thrive in hot dry desert habitats such as those found in the southwestern part of the United States.

References: updated 12/12/2020
The Plant List. A working list of all known plant species. [accessed 12 January 2020]
'Amaranthaceae', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 May 2019, 12:59 UTC, [accessed 12 January 2020]
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database – ITIS search