AMARANTHACEAE - Amaranth Family

Herbs, leaves opposite or alternate, entire, without stipules

Flowers in dense spikes, heads or racemes, subtended by bracts, bisexual or unisexual, highly reduced, infls. often spiny

Fruit a circumscissile capsule,utricle or nutlet, dehiscing by a lid or indehiscent

Seed with embryo surrounding the endosperm

65 genera, 900 species

Economic importance: negative value as weeds, some horticultural uses - Celosia (cock's comb), Amaranthus was important grain plant for New World Indians and may eventually become important as a grain for modern agriculture due to its high lysine content

Diagnostic characteristics: large coarse plants in disturbed areas (weed taxa)