by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Amaranthus deflexus   (Large-fruited Amaranth)

Amaranthus deflexus  (AMARANTHACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Nov-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Amaranthus deflexus - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Amaranthus deflexusL.
Published in Mantissa Alt. 295 (1771)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Albersia prostrata (L.) Fourr.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Amaranthaceae Juss. (The Amaranth Family)
42 species from the Amaranthaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Large-fruited Amaranth, Spreading Amaranth, Low Pigweed

Maltese name(s) :

Denb id-dib lixx

Status for Malta :

Naturalised Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World) and spreads and integrates to form established, non-invasive populations. Species may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: CHAMEOPHYTE ( dwarf or small woody shrubs )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

May – October

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Amaranthus: From the Greek 'amarantos' meaning unfading. The flowers of several species have a deep purple-red colour (from which the colour amaranth is derived) which retain the colour for a very long time. (Greek origin )
deflexus: bent, or turned abruptly downward at a sharp angle as the buds and sepals are. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Several anthropogenic habitats, esp. close to agricultural areas and abandoned fields
Preferred habitat in Malta: Roadsides and paths in rural areas, sometimes in field margins
Botanical Description: Procumbent perennial up to 40 cm, densely puberulent in the upper part. Leaves 3-5 cm, rhombic-ovate, obtuse; margin finely undulate. Inflorescence usually dense, terminal, spicate, becoming interrupted and leafy towards the base. Bracteoles 1/3-1/2 as long as the perianth, ovate, wide at the base, mucronate. Perianth-segments 2 or 3, 1.2-1.5 mm, linear to oblong-spathulate. Fruit 2.5-3 mm, oblong-ovate, inflated-membranous, smooth, with 3 dull green, longitudinal veins, not dehiscing transversely. Seeds much smaller than the fruit
Chromosome number: 2n=32, 34
Distributional range: Naturalized in S. Europe, casual in the North.
Native region outside Europe: (South America)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Switzerland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[Ab(A) nAE(G) nAg nAl aAu(A) Az nAz(F G J M P S T) nBe(B) nBH nBl Bl(I M N) nBr nBu Ca(C F L T) Cg nCo nCr aCs Ct aCy aDa aFe Ga nGa(F) nGe aGg Gg(A D G) nGr nHe Hs(A) nHs(S) nHu aIJ aIr nIt nJu nLi nLu nMa Md(M P) Mk Mo aNo aPo -Rf(C) nRf(CS) Rf(E) aRf(NW) nRm nSa nSi(M S) nSk nSl Sr nSu Sy aTcs nTn nTu(A E) nUk(K) Uk(U)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

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Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (13 images)
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-0.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-1.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-2.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-3.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-4.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-5.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-6.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-7.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-8.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-9.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-10.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-11.
   Amaranthus deflexus   -   Image Code: AMRDF-12.

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