smooth pigweed identification

December 2, 2020

Home; Common Ag Weeds & Management Toggle the sub-menu. Waterhemp is an upright/erect pigweed species (growing to heights of 5-7'). Pigweed is an annual leafy green that can refer to a number of wild weedy plants.The most commonly found pigweed varieties in the culinary world are redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) and simply pigweed, or bathua in Hindi, a vegetable widely used in Northern Indian dishes.. x�b```"9V�S cc`a�h�phU``���7Ol���������{�Y��A�6'Q|绪��N�R1��� Leaves are somewhat spoon-shaped (narrower at the base), small (<1.5" long), and are often dark green and waxy-looking. Pigweed seeds, including Palmer and waterhemp, are very small, about one millimeter wide and are dark brown or black, and smooth and shiny. 0000003049 00000 n At emergence before a full set of true leaves appear, pigweeds can be confused with other weed species such as wild buckwheat, eastern black nightshade, and ladysthumb. 0000003516 00000 n Redroot Pigweed Amaranthus retroflexus L.. Family: Amaranthaceae Habit: summer annual Habitat: Important weed of agronomic crops and gardens. Spiny amaranth. The tips of the leaves are pointed or sometimes slightly notched. Smooth/redroot pigweed. Young leaves may appear purplish on the underside. :�#.�5�t�I]��e. Notes in the Margins: Agronomy and Weed Science Musings. Weed Technology, 10(4):835-841; 22 ref. So, you are looking at a plant that has 1) alternating leaves that are notched at the tips, 2) nondescript green flowers, 3) and that is producing prodigious amounts of small, shiny, black seeds. Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp • Readily distinguished from redroot pigweed only when mature. 0000003143 00000 n Life cycle: summer annual Growth habit: erect, grows 2 to 5 ft. high, branching; leaves alternate, egg-shaped, dull green to reddish Reproduction: seed; small greenish flowers produced in dense, stiff terminal panicles; seed production from late summer to fall, until severe frost; can produce up to 117,000 seeds per plant Below are some identifying characteristics to help you when making your decision. The flowers are s… Less common weedy pigweeds of Iowa fields include Powell amaranth and spiny pigweed. 99 0 obj<>stream Habitat Male (left) and female (right) waterhemp flowers are produced in terminal flower spikes that are help on separate plants. Stems are mostly smooth, fleshy (succulent), and often red in color. New York’s common “regular” pigweeds are smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus), redroot pigweed (A. retroflexus), tumble pigweed (A. albus), and prostrate pigweed (A. blitoides). Plants are erect and usually around 3-4' in height, although they can grow larger. Smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus) and livid amaranth (A. lividus) response to several imidazolinone and sulfonylurea herbicides. trailer startxref Male and female flowers are produced on the same plant, but not in terminal spikes; instead, the flowers of prostrate pigweed are produced in clusters in the leaf axils. All 3 pigweeds have a pink or red taproot, and a green to reddish stem which may be simple or branched and up to 1.5 m high. Weed Type: Broadleaf. While many are non-native, a few, including prostrate pigweed (Amaranthus blitoides) and Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), are indigenous. 0000002781 00000 n Amaranth Identification The first, and often critical, step to managing Palmer amaranth (or any weed) is to scout and identify the species that exist in each agronomic field. MATURE (photo 4) • Very small fine hairs are found throughout plant. What combinations of traits separate one species from another? The stems are smooth (hairless) and range from green to red in color. The Illinois wildflower website has more information about this species at: Agricultural Weed ID for New York State. The alternate leaves are oval to egg shaped. Although leaf shape can be variable, most leaves (especially older ones) are long and slender/narrow; leaves are typically dark green and shiny. Redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed, and Powell amaranth are three closely-related amaranths that have become serious cropland weeds throughout the United States and into southern Canada. Note the lack of sharp bracts with prostrate pigweed. You are pretty sure that you are looking at a pigweed but you aren't sure which one. The leaves are green on the upper surface and light green to magenta on the lower surface. Also, redroot pigweed flowers are held in short, … Smooth and redroot pigweed have an upright habit like Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, but both have at least slightly hairy stems. Pigweed identification can be difficult, especially in the early stages of seedling growth as many species look the same. The leaves are alternate on the stem, long-stalked, and range from dull green to shiny or reddish green. 97 0 obj<> endobj • Flowering structure is highly branched (Figure 1). 0000005491 00000 n Redroot and smooth pigweed will have obvious fine hairs on the stems and leaf surfaces, whereas Palmer amaranth will be hairless. Note the lack of sharp bracts with prostrate pigweed. Just because it is flat doesn't mean that the plant is small, though; branches can be up to 2' in length. Redroot and smooth pigweeds (Amaranthus retroflexus L. and A. hybridus L.)Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii) Summer annuals. Leaves of redroot pigweed are round to oval in shape; young leaves may be purple on the underside. Emerge in the spring set seed in late summer/fall and dies. Tumble pigweed is shrubby in habit; the plant grows to heights of about 3' and can be highly branched. Pigweed Amaranthus retroflexus. If you look closely, you can also see some fine hairs on the stem of the plant, which give it it's rough appearance. Once mature, identification is less difficult but not altogether straight forward. Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) Smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus) Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii) Spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus) Tumble pigweed (Amaranthus albus) Prostrate pigweed (Amaranthus blitoides) Waterhemp (common) (Amaranthus rudis) Waterhemp (tall) (Amaranthus tuberculatus) 5'. (P. Westra, Colorado State Univ., left and B. Ackley, Ohio State. Palmer amaranth also produces male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious). The stem of the pigweed is what makes this plant so distinctive. Differences may be the hairy stems and very little branching in the upper part of the stem. 0000001614 00000 n Male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers are produced on the same plant (defined as being monoecious) in terminal flower spikes that are comprised of short, thick branches. 0000003193 00000 n Powell amaranth (A. powelii) 4. The margins of the leaves are smooth. In addition, the pigweeds: Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, redroot pigweed, Powell amaranth, and smooth pigweed, are not easily separated by species at the immature stages. Leaves are hairy beneath, at least on the whitish veins. Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, redroot/smooth pigweed identification • Smooth pigweed is very similar to redroot pigweed and Powell amaranth. McLean KS, Roy KW, 1991. Weed description not yet available. Tumble pigweed flowers are produced in spiny clusters in leaf axils. The emergence of these pigweed species occurs after common lambsquarters and the ragweeds. The 3rd Annual UAV/Ag Technology Field Day on July 15th, Upcoming Extension Meetings - May 2019 - UC Small Grains - Alfalfa/Forages Field Day, Weed Identification - Why it's important and where to go for help. Leaves are oval with smooth margins, and are green above and light green to purplish below. 0000006840 00000 n applied. Leaves are round to oval in shape and have prominent veins; both leaves and stems are covered in fine hairs (pubescent). %PDF-1.4 %���� 0000002889 00000 n Tumble pigweed flowers are produced in spiny clusters in leaf axils. Clockwise from upper left: Tumble pigweed, prostrate pigweed, waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth. The term pigweed will be used throughout to refer to any of the above species, including common waterhemp. Smooth pigweed - notched tip, small fine hairs, ovate shaped leaves. Powell amaranth very similar. Tumble pigweed has a shrubby growth habit, and prostrate pigweed extends its stems parallel … Weed ID Guide, Weed Science Program. Life Cycle: Summer annual. Palmer amaranth is one of several weedy pigweed (Amaranthus) species found across Iowa. 0000007226 00000 n Distinguishing Features. 0000006639 00000 n Redroot pigweed is characterized by it's red tap root (usually present at the seedling stage of development), from which the plant gets it's name. The stems are smooth (hairless) and range from green to … Red coloration on the root of a young redroot pigweed plant. Egg-shaped to round leaves. %%EOF Smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus) • Plants will have very small fine hairs throughout. Q��C}'�. According to the CalFlora website (, 21 species of amaranths occur (to some extent) in California. The stems are densely hairy with short hairs. Key features of seedling and mature plants that aid in distinguishing the pigweed species are presented in … Stems are erect, and can grow anywhere from 10 cm - 2 m high, but usually 50 - 90 cm, simple or branched, lower part thick and smooth, upper part usually rough with dense short hair, greenish to slightly reddish but usually red near the roots. Identifying the differences between Palmer amaranth and common waterhemp (both species are hairless) is much more difficult, especially at a young age. Redroot and smooth pigweed leaves are similar to Palmer amaranth leaves, with a round to ovate shape. Pigweed with no hair on stems and leaves. How can you tell them apart? Prostrate pigweed flowers are produced in  clusters in leaf axils. Female Palmer amaranth flowers can be distinguished from waterhemp by the presence of sharp bracts.For more  information about Palmer amaranth and how to distinguish it from Waterhemp, please see the following website: Although leaf shape can be variable, most leaves (especially older ones) are long and slender/narrow; leaves are typically dark green and shiny. Stems and leaves are light green in color. Note the presence of sharp bracts associated with the female flowers. 0000000016 00000 n In addition, the pigweeds: Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, redroot pigweed, Powell amaranth, and smooth pigweed, are not easily separated by species at the immature stages. Proper identification is the first line of defense: Palmer amaranth plants look similar to other pigweeds and especially as seedlings. Redroot pigweed leaf (left). • Smooth pigweed has a more rounded first leaf than Powell amaranth. 2c) … Waterhemp leaves are dark green, shiny, hairless, and slender. Your local Cooperative Extension office personnel or Master Gardeners can also assist you. Prostrate pigweed has a flattened growth habit and reddish to red stems. • Flowering stems are the shortest of the pigweeds (<1.5”) (Figure 1). Like waterhemp, the stems are hairless and range from green to red in color. Waterhemp stems are smooth/hairless and can vary with respect to color. Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California. 2b), and Powell amaranth (Fig. Like it's name suggests, prostrate pigweed has a very flattened (as opposed to erect) growth habit. Pigweed, Common or Smooth. Virtually every farmer in North America knows and grapples with pigweed, a term that covers several species in the genus Amaranthus, including: 1. redroot pigweed (A. retroflexus) 2. smooth pigweed (A. hybridus) 3. 0000005401 00000 n Identification: Mature plants are very similar to Redroot Pigweed and Powell Amaranth. Petiole differences between waterhemp (left) and Palmer amaranth (right). Palmer amaranth (A. palmeri) 5. spiny amaranth (A. spinosus) 6. tumble pigweed (A. albus) 7. prostrate pigweed (A. blitoides) 8. waterhemp (A. tuberculatus = A. rudis) These heat-loving summer annuals emerge after the spring frost date, grow rapidly, compete … Prior to the 1980’s redroot pigweed and smooth pigweed were our most common pigweed species, but since the late 1980’s, waterhemp has been our number one pigweed. 0000001182 00000 n Like prostrate pigweed, the species is monoecious with flowers produced in spiny clusters in leaf axils (not in terminal flower spikes). For more  information about waterhemp, please see the following website: It is easy to misidentify Palmer amaranth because it looks similar to three other common amaranth species: redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), smooth pigweed (Amaranthus The plant is named for its pinkish to red taproot. Some people note that the leaf arrangement resembles that of a pointsettia. Similar Species: Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) has wavy leaf margins and an upper stem that is very hairy whereas Powell amaranth has entire leaf margins and upper stems lacking hairs. 0000005732 00000 n Under certain conditions, free nitrates in redroot pigweed leaves are high enough to be toxic to livestock when consumed. Palmer amaranth leaves. Leaf petioles (especially on older leaves) are as long or longer than the leaf blades. 0000003581 00000 n xref Early and accurate identification of Palmer amaranth plants is an important component of an integrated management program,… 1 and 2a), smooth pigweed (Fig. . Field Crops Toggle the sub-menu. 0000003096 00000 n This post will, hopefully, help you to distinguish between five weedy amaranths: redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), prostrate pigweed (Amaranthus blitoides), tumble pigweed (Amaranthus albus), waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis), and Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri). Palmer amaranth is also an erect pigweed species (growing to heights >6-8'). Identification in the adult stage is easier and useful in deciding which treatments to use the following year.,,, Save The Date! Please see the UC IPM website for more information about redroot pigweed: . 0000000736 00000 n Pigweed (Amaranth) Species : GrowthHabit: Identification Tips: Green Pigweed (Powell amaranth) (Amaranthus powellii) Erect, branched0.6-2.1 M: First true leaves narrower and more tapered toward tip than redroot or smooth; plant may be slightly hairy but less than redroot. Leaves . Upper stems and leaves of mature plants are sparsely hairy and have a rough texture. Cotyledons are linear with a prominent midvein and reddish tinted undersides. Because redroot pigweed can hybridize with other amaranth species, identification to species can be difficult. The Midwest is home to several species including redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), tall waterhemp (A. tuberculatus), Palmer amaranth (A. palmeri), tumble pigweed (A. albus), prostrate pigweed (A. blitoides), smooth (A. hybridus), spiny amaranth (A. spinosus), Powell amaranth (A. powellii), and others. Long narrow leaves with short petioles. Leaf shape can be variable, but most leaves are egg-, diamond-, or lance-shaped; leaves may sometimes exhibit a white or purple, chevron-shaped watermark on them. 0000001120 00000 n Male and female flowers are produced on the same plant in terminal flower spikes comprised of short/squat and thick branches. Waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) Waterhemp is an upright/erect pigweed species (growing to heights of 5-7'). The stems are smooth (hairless) and range from green to red in color. 0000007052 00000 n Redroot pigweed (Figs. <]>> Flowers are primarily produced on long (up to 1' or more in length) and minimally branched, terminal flower spikes or on spikes that arise from upper leaf axils. Scientific Name: Amaranthus hybridus. • Easily distinguished from redroot pigweed only in … Waterhemp. Additional information describing the differences between tumble and prostrate pigweeds can be accessed here: Male (left) and female (right) Palmer amaranth flowers are produced in terminal flower spikes that are help on separate plants. Iowa pests as redroot pigweed, smooth pig-weed, Powell amaranth, and common waterhemp. In the mid to late season, the size and arrangement of the floral structures can be used to distinguish Palmer amaranth and waterhemp from each other and from other types of pigweeds. Smooth pigweed seedling (right). 97 22 A scouting trip last Thursday to our Palmer amaranth research location west of Kankakee revealed that Palmer amaranth plants had begun to emerge a few days before our arrival. Flowers are primarily produced on long (up to 2-3' or more in length) and minimally branched, terminal flower spikes or on spikes that arise from upper leaf axils. Waterhemp is an upright/erect pigweed species (growing to heights of 5-7'). To aid the producer in identifying pigweeds, we have provided an illustrated table of their distin-guishing characteristics and written descriptions of common waterhemp, redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed, Powell amaranth, and Palmer Leaves are alternate, dull green, egg- to diamond-shaped with a small notch at the tip, smooth to wavy margins and long petioles. 0000001521 00000 n 0000006979 00000 n Palmer amaranth. Tumble pigweed leaves are light green in color, oval to egg-shaped, and have wavy edges. Other less troublesome weedy pigweeds found in Iowa are spiny amaranth, prostrate pigweed, and tumble pigweed. Identification. The leaf blade is oval to diamond-shaped, but is usually broader at the base. Prostrate pigweed leaves are small, narrow at the base, and waxy in appearance. This blog post isn't meant to be the end all and be all of pigweed ID (many other species that occur in California aren't even included...), but it is meant to help you get started. • Flowering structure is highly branched, more so than Leaf blades of waterhemp (left) and Palmer amaranth (right). However, they have leaf hairs, while Palmer and common waterhemp do not. The three species are discussed together because they are difficult to distinguish from one another in the field, have similar life cycles and habits of growth, and present similar management challenges in crop production. 0 Common Name: Pigweed, Common or Smooth. Leaves can be small (<1.5" long), are egg-shaped, and may have wavy edges. Unlike redroot, prostrate, and tumble pigweeds, waterhemp produces male and female flowers on separate plants (defined as being dioecious).

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