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Pesticide Safety Education Program

Ohio State University Extension


Water Hemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus)

Water Hemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus

Description: Erect plant up to 8 feet tall.  Highly variable in shape and color, ranging from yellowish green, dark green to reddish green.

Life Cycle: Annual

Habitat: Crop fields, disturbed areas. Prefers poorly drained soils.

Flower: Narrow bracts arranged in spikes with pointed tips and no petals.

Fruit: Ovoid capsules that split cleanly around the middle to release the seed.

Leaves: Small, lanceolate shaped glossy leaves.

Root: Taproot with secondary fibrous roots.

The problem is… produces many seeds and can be pollinated over long distances. When present, it significantly reduces crop yields.

Water HempWater hemp leaf side by sideWater hemp stem variation