Plant Listings

Amaranthus spinosus

Amaranthus spinosus L.

Common name: Calalue

Family: Amaranthaceae

Habit: Amaranthus spinosus grows as an annual or perennial to 50 cm in height (usually shorter). Sharp spines at the nodes. The mostly glabrous leaves are arranged alternately, ovate-lanceolate, with an entire margin and obtuse leaf apex. Adaxial surface with an inverted V shape mark.

The incomplete, imperfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in tight terminal and upper axillary panicles. The flowers are subtended by 3-4 bracts and numerous hairs. The calyx has 5 unfused sepals.  There is no corolla.   The staminate flowers have 5 unfused stamens and no carpel. The carpellate flowers have a superior ovary with a single locule and seed and no stamens.  The fruit is an achene at maturity.

Habitat: Amaranthus spinosus grows in Human Altered environments (yards, abandoned fields, roadsides).

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Amaranthus spinosus occurs on all island groupings within the Bahamian Archipelago as well as the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America.  It has become a pan tropical and subtropical weed.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Amaranthus spinosus is not used medicinally in the Bahamian Archipelago.  In other countries it has been used medicinally.

The leaves are edible.