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Pesticide Safety Education Program

Ohio State University Extension


Palmer amaranth (Amaranthys palmeri)

Description: Dense, compact terminal panicles and relatively tall plants with alternately arranged leaves and peitoles that are longer than the leaves. 

Life cycle: Summer annual

Habitat: Native grasslands, pastures, fields, disturbed areas, waste areas, open woods, meadows, and roadsides.

Flower: Small, green, inconspicuous flowers are produced in dense, compact, and terminal panicles. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants.

Fruit: Single seeded utricle with black to dark brown seed. A plant can produce up to one million seeds.

Leaf: Alternate without hairs, and lance-shaped or eggshaped in outline. Leaves occur on relatively long petioles.

Stem: One central stem occurs from which several lateral branches arise.

Root: Taproot

The problem is….this aggressive plant adds to the seed-bank and it is toxic to livestock.

Palmer amaranth seedling, Ackley.

Palmer amaranth mature plant, Ross Recker.

Palmer Amaranth leaf side by side

Palmer amaranth seedhead, Rose.