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Slim Amaranth (Amaranthus hybridus L.)

Also known as green amaranth, slim amaranth, smooth amaranth, smooth pigweed, red amaranth.

A. hybridus is often described as a "complex" rather than a species, in that (a) the plants grouped under this name are highly variable (b) it hybridizes readily with other species of Amaranth (c) there is considerable uncertainty and change in the classification of plants as being included or excluded from this grouping. Some species can be difficult to distinguish accurately from variations included under this species.

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A highly variable annual widely distributed in North America, having expanded its range hugely due to human influence.

Range - Expand

Introduced or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.


Originally a pioneer species of disturbed habitats, mostly along rivers, A. hybridus has hugely expanded its range due to human influence, mainly through agriculture.

Found in agriculture, fallow fields, along roadsides and railroads, and on other disturbed ground.


The foliage is eaten as a cooked green in Mexico, where it is one of several species described as "Quelite quintonilli". It is sometimes sold commercially; in the U.S. it is uncommonly available at Mexican groceries.


We recommend avoiding the common name "green amaranth" because it can also refer to powell's amaranth (Amaranthus powellii).

Amaranthus hybridus (Slender Pigweed - Green Form) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus (Slender Pigweed - Red Form) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus (Slim Amaranth) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus | Go Botany (About This Site)

Smooth Pigweed | iNaturalist (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus (smooth pigweed) | CABI Invasive Species Compendium (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus | Flora of North America (About This Site)

Amaranthus hybridus | Missouri Plants (About This Site)

Slim Amaranth | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)