Prostrate Pigweed

Prostrate Pigweed
Prostrate Pigweed. Amaranthus blitoides.
Amaranthaceae, the amaranth family.

Plant: Prostrate, mat-forming plant, spreading to about 24", with somewhat fleshy, branching and angled, sometimes reddish stems, and obovate leaves distinctly notched at the tip. Flowers small, green, and inconspicuous. Annual.
Flowers: Tiny, greenish, inconspicuous, 1/8", with 5 sepals, in small axillary clusters.
Leaves: Alternate, obovate, 1/2"-1" long, with distinctly notched tip, smooth or slightly wavy margins, and medium petioles. Often crowded near tip of stems.
Fruit: Small bladderlike (utricle), with one black seed.
Blooming: June-September
Habitat: Gardens, cultivated fields, roadsides, waste areas, disturbed soil.

Comments: Also called Spreading Pigweed and Mat Amaranth This plant is native to parts of North America, but is naturalized across most of North and South America, where it is often an invasive weed. The seeds, like those of some other amaranths, are edible, and were reputedly eaten by some native North American tribes.

Where to find it: Mostly as a weed in some of the gardened areas of the park.