(Available online at: Tompkins, D. K., D. Chaw, and A. T. Abiola. Plants are erect and usually around 3-4' in height, although they can grow larger. The alternate leaves are ovate with wavy margins. Cotyledons are linear with a prominent midvein and reddish tinted undersides. These species can become very problematic and reduce crop yields. Effects of canopy shade on the morphology, phenology, and seed characteristics of Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii). Cotyledons are linear with a prominent midvein and reddish tinted undersides. As biological control agents, Pigweed seeds are consumed by various seed predators. Its most common habitats are roadsides, waste places, gardens, and river banks. Pigweed identification can be difficult, especially in the early stages of seedling growth as many species look the same. Base of plant. Key features of seedling and mature plants that aid in distinguishing the pigweed species are presented in this guide. Redroot pigweed grows in cultivated fields, pastures, roadside ditches, and undeveloped areas. Figure credit: Lynn Sosnoskie, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org. 5), and may overtop lower growing vegetables, causing a crop loss. photo by Robert Videki via Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org, Click above for the chemical control of Redroot Pigweed from the Cornell Weed ID site. Two common weeds that are mistaken for Palmer amaranth and waterhemp are redroot pigweed and Powell amaranth. MATURE (photo 4) • Very small fine hairs are found throughout plant. A number of pigweed species are found in Ohio. IDENTIFICATION. Avoid broadcast applications of chicken litter or other concentrated nutrient sources, as these will stimulate rapid early growth of pigweeds, which may take up most of the nutrients before the crop can access them. (Available online at, Brainard, D. C., R. R. Bellinder, and V. Kumar. Redroot pigweed Amaranthus retroflexus L.. Family: Amaranthaceae Life cycle: Annual Native status: Native to North America Habitat: Crop fields, waste areas General description: Erect, branched plant reaching heights of 6 ft. Key ID traits: Stems hairy; leaves are egg-shaped and often reddish underneath and with wavy margins; first leaf usually has notch at tip. The stems are erect, light green, stout, branched, 60 … The leaves are hairy on the lower surface, along the prominent veins. 1991. Seedhead and leaves of redroot pigweed. Leaves: Like the leaves of the seedlings, those of the mature plant are alternate with wavy margins. Anti-oxidizing Properties Pacifico et al., (2008) studied the antioxidant activity of the methanolic extract of redroot pigweed. 2009. Redroot Pigweed. Leaf shape Pigweed Identification using Flowering Structure. redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) Identification Tips tall, erect, branching summer annuals that reach heights of 3–6 feet and occasionally more Stems and leaves may be smooth and hairless, or covered with fine hairs. Minimize pigweed seed banks by preventing seed formation. (b) Smooth pigweed foliage. The early growth of redroot pigweed seedlings is more severely limited by low levels of available soil phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) than that of many other weeds, and much more so than large-seeded crops like corn, soybean, and cotton (Hoveland et al., 1976). It has a long, fleshy, reddish to pink taproot. Recommended citation format: Hager, A. When applying more concentrated nutrient sources to heavy-feeding vegetables, band the material in the crop row to avoid feeding between-row weeds. 2008. (b) Redroot, (c) Powell, and (d) smooth pigweeds photographed about two weeks after emergence at the 4-leaf stage and about 1 inch tall. This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. They include such well known Iowa pests as redroot pigweed, smooth pig- … Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) can be found in a wide range of soil textures and types though it is usually found in open areas that are exposed to the elements. Powell amaranth (A. powelii) 4. The leaf blades taper to rounded or… Figure 5. Redroot Pigweed Seedling: Redroot Pigweed Flowers: Redroot pigweed is a summer annual that reproduces only by seed. … Economic thresholds (weed levels that cause a 5% yield loss) for pigweeds emerging with corn and soybean crops have been estimated as low as 0.2–0.5 plants per 10 square feet, and 2–4 plants per 10 square feet for weeds emerging after crop seedlings have several leaves (Costea et al., 2004). Weed Science 24: 194–201. There are from 65 to 75 species of amaranths, many of which are important field weeds. In Mississippi, redroot pigweed seeds buried 4 inches deep (from which seedlings cannot emerge) in field conditions showed a 93% loss of viability within 8 months (Schonbeck and Egley, 1981). 2003. Redroot pigweed (Figs. Pre-publication draft, version 5.1. Redroot pigweed (Figs. However, in Nebraska, 7% of seeds buried at a depth of 8 inches remained viable after 12 years, and 1% after 17 years (Burnside et al., 1996), and other studies have also shown greater longevity in the soil in cooler climates (Costea et al., 2004). They are 10-12 mm (2/5-1/2”) long and dull green to reddish on the upper surface while being bright red underneath. They include such well known Iowa pests as redroot pigweed, smooth pig- weed… Redroot Pigweed; Virginia Pepperweed; Witchgrass; Yellow Nutsedge; Vegetables Toggle the sub-menu. In addition, the pigweeds: Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, redroot pigweed, Powell amaranth, and smooth pigweed, are not easily separated by species at the immature stages. Plants are erect and usually around 3-4' in height, although they can grow larger. What It Looks Like. Fruit (1.5-2 mm (~1/25”) long) are thin-walled and each contain a single shiny black/brown seed. It is a common annual weed, producing many seeds that remain viable for up to 5 years. Plant and Soil 135: 287–292. Phosphorus effects on the competitive interactions of smooth pigweed (, Schonbeck, M. W., and G. H. Egley. Life cycle: Summer annual Growth Habit: Erect Propagation: Seed Leaf Margin: Wavy Leaf Hairs: Hairy petioles Leaf Structure: Ovate or rhombic-ovate Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Root Type: Taproot Flower Color: Greenish. Nitrogen fertilizer rate effects on weed competitiveness is species dependent. The leaves are alternate, stalked, dull green, oval-shaped, rough and 3-4 inches long. In the northeastern United States, Powell amaranth emerges at lower temperatures and demonstrates more tolerance for light frosts than other pigweeds (Mohler and DiTommaso, unpublished). Figure 3. Plants are erect and usually around 3-4' in height, although they can grow larger. The inflorescence has a stiff, rough texture (hence the other common name for this species, "rough pigweed"), and consists of a much-branched spike with individual branches usually less than 2 inches long, and thicker than a pencil (Horak et al., 1994) (Fig. Title (Click to Sort) Fact Sheet Number Tags ; Pigweed Identification Guide : ANR-77 : weeds, pigweed, palmer amaranth, redroot pigweed, waterhemp, spiny amaranth: Search form. Maize and pigweed response to nitrogen supply and form. During weed-crop competition, pigweeds respond to partial shading by increasing stem growth and deploying foliage at greater heights above the ground, thereby enhancing light interception. Photo credit: Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California–Davis, Bugwood.org. If you have a disability and are having trouble accessing information on this website or need materials in an alternate format, contact web-accessibility@cornell.edu for assistance. Uncomposted manure is a common source of pigweed seeds. Redroot Pigweed; Virginia Pepperweed; Witchgrass; Yellow Nutsedge; Vegetables Toggle the sub-menu. (c) Smooth pigweed inflorescence. There are from 65 to 75 species of amaranths, many of which are important field weeds. redroot pigweed. • Powell amaranth is very similar to redroot pigweed and smooth pigweed. Stems have rough surfaces and can reach up to 2 m (6.5 ft) in height but are usually smaller. 4c). 2009. Assessing variability in fecundity of Amaranthus powellii using a simulation model. Redroot pigweed is an abundant seed producer that may be found throughout the United States in horticultural, nursery, and agronomic crops, landscapes, roadsides, and also in pastures and forages. The final seedbed preparation must be shallow (no more than 3.8 cm/~1.5″) to avoid pulling fresh seeds up into the germination zone at the soil surface. (a) Two-leaf stage of redroot pigweed, easily killed by shallow cultivation or flame weeding. Seedlings of the two species are difficult to differentiate and the presence of a reddish-pink root is not a … Photo credits: (a) Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org, (b) Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming, (c) Lynn Sosnoskie, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org. Leaves are diamond-shaped to oval or egg-shaped with the broader end nearest the petiole (ovate). Cooperative Extension Service, Kansas State University. At emergence before a full set of true leaves appear, pigweeds can be confused with other weed species such as wild buckwheat, eastern black nightshade, and ladysthumb. For high value crops, it pays to manually remove any large pigweeds that have escaped early season cultivation, flame weeding, or mulching before they can form mature seed–as soon as you see flower heads start to form, if not sooner. At emergence before a full set of true leaves appear, pigweeds can be confused with other weed species such as wild buckwheat, eastern black nightshade, and ladysthumb. Cornell University’s Turfgrass and Landscape Weed ID app. Green and smooth pigweed very similar. The northern field cricket and certain species of ground beetles feed on the seeds lying in the soil surface. Deeper burial in the soil profile enhances seed dormancy and longevity in redroot pigweed (Omami et al., 1999). Pigweed Identification Developed by Michael Horak, Dallas Peterson, Dennis Chessman & Lloyd Wax At emergence before a full set of true leaves appear, pigweeds can be confused with other weed species such as wild buckwheat, eastern black nightshade, and ladysthumb. Mohler, C. A., and A. DiTommaso. In field studies in the central United States, redroot and smooth pigweeds reached 2–3 inches within 2–3 weeks after planting (WAP), and 18–27 inches by 5–7 WAP (Horak and Loughin, 2000; Sellers et al, 2003). Pigweeds have been described as weeds of rich soils (Weaver and McWilliams, 1980), as high levels of readily available nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) seem to stimulate weed growth and nutrient uptake, and to intensify competition against crops. It is especially important to design crop rotations that vary the timing and intensity of soil-disturbing field operations, and the seasons at which a plant canopy is absent (i.e., at and shortly after planting). Temperature effects on germination and growth of redroot pigweed (, Horak, M. J., and T. M. Loughin. (Available online at. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University. Young leaves are egg-shaped and alternate. Try to get a positive identification of the species present, and be aware that Powell amaranth may grow more rapidly in the northern United States, and smooth pigweed more so further south. They are produced in dense and stiff terminal panicles (5-20 cm (2-8”) long and 1.5 cm (~3/5”) wide). Severing pigweed plants below the cotyledonary node (i.e., at or just below ground level) can prevent shoot regeneration (Costea et al., 2004). Pigweeds profile webpage from the Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences. The organic weed management strategy outlined in the general article on pigweeds should be effective on Powell amaranth, smooth pigweed, and redroot pigweed. Upper surface of the blades are green while the lower surface is red. Slender pigweed, also known as Green pigweed Whereas another pigweed species, Palmer amaranth, showed much higher growth rates, redroot pigweed is more tolerant of cool temperature regimes (Guo and Al-Khatib, 2003). 1 and 2a), smooth pigweed (Fig. Category: Weeds. Weed Technology 25: 473–479. Flowering pigweeds. Bryson, C. T., and M. S. DeFelice. Weed identification at the seedling and immature stages can be difficult but is often necessary because scouting should occur before weeds reach 4 inches in height. Leaves. Erect summer annual. Flowers/Fruits: Flowers are greenish and small. 4d). Growth analysis of four. To print a fact sheet, use the "Print" command in your browser. The alternate leaves are ovate with wavy margins. (d) Ohio State Weed Lab Archive, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org. In addition, local populations are likely to adapt and become more competitive if the same weed management strategies are utilized year after year. Life cycle: Summer annual Growth Habit: Erect Propagation: Seed Leaf Margin: Wavy Leaf Hairs: Hairy petioles Leaf Structure: Ovate or rhombic-ovate Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Root Type: Taproot Flower Color: Greenish. Redroot pigweed has a relatively short, thick, compact inflorescence, with the uppermost central spike extending only a short distance above the first branches of the panicle. The abundance of redroot, smooth, or Powell amaranths in crop fields appears more influenced by weed management practices, nutrient management, and crop rotation than by tillage, and these weeds may become troublesome in zero-till, conservation-till, and conventional tillage systems (Costea et al., 2004). Weed Science 56:753–761. Seedlings Stems below the cotyledons (hypocotyls) are without hairs (glabrous) but may sometimes be slightly hairy, and are often red in color, especially near the base. Old, R. 2008. Pigweeds and waterhemps belong to a group of plants known as the amaranths (genus Amaranthus). Horak, M. J., D. E. Peterson, D. J. Chessman, and L. M. Wax. • Leaf and stem surfaces are rough. Once mature, identification is less difficult but not altogether straight forward. In the axils of the lower leaves are small clusters of flowers arranged on a branched stem (inflorescences). Weaver, S. E., and E. L. McWilliams. Identifying the differences between Palmer amaranth and common waterhemp (both species are hairless) is much more difficult, especially at a young age. Stems are erect, and can grow anywhere from 10 cm - 2 m high, but usually 50 - 90 cm, simple or branched, lower part thick and smooth, upper part usually rough with dense short hair, greenish to slightly reddish but usually red near the roots. Weed Science 55: 218–226. This can be similar to redroot or smooth although they tend to be more egg shaped and widest in the middle. Effect of windrow composting on weed seed germination and viability. 1 2 3 4 Seeds germinate spring through summer. In growth chamber experiments conducted under two day/night temperature regimes (72°F / 57°F, and 82°F / 72°F), and in field trials in Ontario, Canada, Powell amaranth germinated and grew more rapidly–and produced more seed–than either redroot pigweed or smooth pigweed (Weaver, 1984). Redroot pigweed. Studies on redroot pigweed seeds have shown that dry seeds can tolerate brief exposure to temperatures as high as 158°F (Egley, 1990), but that composting (moist heat) at 130-150°F for four weeks reduces viability to zero (Tompkins et al., 1998). This can be similar to redroot or smooth although they tend to be more egg shaped and widest in the middle. Virtually every farmer in North America knows and grapples with pigweed, a term that covers several species in the genus Amaranthus, including: 1. redroot pigweed (A. retroflexus) 2. smooth pigweed (A. hybridus) 3. Amaranth Identification The first and often critical key to managing Palmer amaranth, or any weed for that matter, is to scout and identify the species that exist in each agronomic field. Identification and control options for weeds common to turf, agriculture, and gardens in New York; uses a very simple decision tree to identify your weed. The hairy stems of the seedling are light green and typically red at the base. Family Amaranthaceae Scientific Name Amaranthus retroflexus ← → Other Common Names: careless weed. (b) Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org. Seeds are glossy black, rounded with convex sides. B. Considerable genetic and morphological variability occurs within each of these three species, and field identification can be further complicated by occasional hybridization and gene flow among species. Weed Science 56: 271–280. Timely cultivations or flame weeding during late spring and early summer, followed by organic mulch, have been found effective for managing Powell amaranth in upstate New York (Mohler and DiTommaso, unpublished), and are likely equally effective for smooth and redroot pigweeds. The stems are erect, light green, stout, branched, 60 … May 11, 2015. 130. Dr. Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming. • Male and female flowers on same plant. Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) Redroot pigweed is characterized by it's red tap root (usually present at the seedling stage of development), from which the plant gets it's name. Smooth Pigweed. Mature Redroot Pigweed plant with flowers. Redroot Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) is a common, widespread agricultural weed in New York, which is native to North or Central America. Top view of the mature leaves of a redroot pigweed, photo by Howard F. Schwartz from Colorado State University via Bigwood.org. The three species are discussed together because they are difficult to distinguish from one another in the field, have similar life cycles and habits of growth, and present similar management challenges in crop production. Pigweed, Palmer Amaranth Identification Tips for Growers May 17, 2016 COLUMBUS, Ohio – Whether it’s Palmer amaranth, waterhemp or redroot pigweed, the best way to keep weeds from taking over farm fields is to know how to identify them, says a weed scientist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Pigweeds that emerge with the crop and are not controlled can substantially reduce crop yields (Fig. Tumble pigweed has a shrubby growth habit, and prostrate pigweed extends its stems parallel to the ground (this is often a sidewalk-crack rather than an agricultural weed). Redroot and smooth pigweed will have obvious fine hairs on the stems and leaf surfaces, whereas Palmer amaranth will be hairless. Fruit (1.5-2 mm (~1/25”) long) are thin-walled and each contain a single shiny black/brown seed. Fertilization has been reported to triple seed production by redroot pigweed, and to stimulate growth and seed production in Powell amaranth in the northeastern United States (Mohler and DiTommaso, unpublished). • At maturity, entire plant and flowering structure are usually either green or reddish purple. Leaves. The leaf shapes of Palmer amaranth are ovate to diamond shape and widest at the base. Plants have numerous flowers that are small, green and crowded into dense, finger-like spikes. Image Gallery ; Similar Species. Grass-legume mixtures and soil fertility affect cover crop performance and weed seed production. Amaranth, Spiny Amaranthus spinosus; Lambsquarter Chenopodium album (Available online at: Collins, A. S., C. A. Studies in Florida indicate that heavy canopy-forming summer cover crops such as cowpea, velvetbean, and sunn hemp can suppress the growth of smooth pigweed, provided that cover crops are planted in narrow rows and sufficiently high seeding rates to promote early canopy closure (Collins et al., 2008). In New York, a summer cover crop of cowpeas with sorghum-sudangrass or Japanese millet suppressed Powell amaranth growth and seed production, whereas the weed outcompeted cowpea alone in a hot, dry year (Brainard et al., 2011). A single, large, mature plant of redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed, or Powell amaranth can produce well over 200,000 seeds (Brainard and Bellinder, 2004; Sellers et al., 2003). Figure 4. Redroot is a common weed in gardens, roadsides, agriculture and waste areas. Hair is sparsely present on the leaves’ margins and veins. Lack of hairs. Powell amaranth is now naturalized throughout temperate North America (Flora of North America; Mohler and DiTommaso, unpublished; Weaver and McWilliams, 1980), and its abundance relative to other pigweeds has increased in crop fields in Ontario, Canada (Weaver, 1984). Male and female flowers are separate and the male flowers fall off soon after the pollen sheds. Publication anticipated in 2012. Weed Research 44: 203–217. Redroot is a common weed in gardens, roadsides, agriculture and waste areas. Both the fresh or dry pigweed leaves can be used to making tea. Definitive identification requires a closeup examination of the perianth (whorl of "tepals" or petal-like structures surrounding the fruit of the female flower) using a hand lens. Eight Key Points to Palmer Amaranth and Waterhemp Identification Appearance of weed seeds. Also known as Pigweed or Amaranth. • Flowering structure is branched, with many thick, flowering stems that range from 4 to 7 inches in length (Figures 1 and 2). Response of weeds to soil phosphorus and potassium. This guide will help in making a correct identification based on typical pigweed characteristics. Male and female flowers are separate and the male flowers fall off soon after the pollen sheds. Image courtesy of Larry Kuhns. This erect summer annual can be found flowering from July through October. 2c) are tall, erect, branching summer annuals that reach heights of 3–6 feet and occasionally more (Old, 2008). (Available online at, Brainard, D. C., and R. R. Bellinder. 1 and 2a), smooth pigweed (Fig. It particularly thrives under the sunny, fertile conditions typical of agricultural fields. Leaves are diamond-shaped to oval or egg-shaped with the broader end nearest the petiole (ovate). Tumble pigweed has a shrubby growth habit, and prostrate pigweed extends its stems parallel to the ground (this is often a sidewalk-crack rather than an agricultural weed). Homepage; Broadleaf; Grasslike; Other; redroot amaranth. (b) Closeup of redroot pigweed inflorescence showing maturing seeds, and the long, stiff bracts which give the inflorescence its rough texture. The first key, as eluded to earlier, is the correct identification of palmer amaranth and it’s very close amaranth relatives: common waterhemp, redroot pigweed, and smooth pigweed. In warmer climates, positive identification is important to verify that the weed present is indeed one of these species and not Palmer amaranth or waterhemp, which are particularly aggressive in the South and the Corn Belt respectively, and may require more intensive, multi-tactic management strategies. Pigweed seed density may be reduced by rotating the seed bank with sod crops, bare fallows, and/or integration of a legume crop. Redroot pigweed, showing habit of growth of mature plants with seed heads. Weeds of the Northeast. Teyker, R. H., H. D. Hoelzer, and R. A. Liebl. If you have a garden and the weeds get out of hand, no problem! Temperature effects on germination of nine. Furthermore, studies showing apparent differences among the three species in seed dormancy and germination, growth characteristics, or physiological responses may reflect traits of the particular population studied, rather than the species as a whole. 2008. The inflorescence of smooth pigweed is similar in size and degree of branching, but has a much softer texture (hence, "smooth pigweed"), and individual branches usually no thicker than a pencil (Horak et al., 1994) (Fig. Palmer amaranth can easily be misidentified as redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) or common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis), Photo credit: Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming. A. Dusky, W. M. Stall, and D. G. Shilling. Manage nutrients to favor the crop over pigweeds. 2004. Pigweed identification can be difficult, especially at the seedling stage of growth. In Powell amaranth, inflorescences are linear or sparingly branched, with branches 4–8 inches long and thicker than a pencil (Horak et al., 1994) (Fig. Powell amaranth grown with broccoli or broccoli + rye intercrop during a warm season responded to canopy shade with increased stem growth, whereas in a cooler season, the weed was more readily suppressed by crop competition (Brainard et al., 2005). Photo credit: (a) Phil Westra, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org; (b) Phil Westra, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. Stems of the mature plant are stout with a thick and smooth lower part and a hairy, branched upper part. In redroot pigweed, the tepals are all longer than the fruit itself; in smooth pigweed, they are all shorter than the fruit and have dark green mid-veins; and in Powell amaranth, tepals are very unequal in length with some longer and some shorter than the fruit (Costea et al., 2004). CONTROL TIPS. 1998. Choose locally adapted cover crop varieties, and plant a combination of grass and legume for greatest competition against emerging weeds. Interference of redroot pigweed (. • First leaves are more tapered and slightly pinched toward the end, unlike redroot and smooth pigweed. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification. Figure 3. This guide will help in making a correct identification based on typical pigweed characteristics. Redroot Pigweed is a found in field crops, vegetables, abd small fruit. It thrives in open, sunny places inhabiting agricultural land other disturbed places. Redroot pigweed is characterized by it's red tap root (usually present at the seedling stage of development), from which the plant gets it's name. Various mammals, including mice, also eat Pigweed seeds. Two pigweed species, tentatively identified as Palmer amaranth (left) and smooth pigweed (right), grow at the edge of a plastic mulched bed in organic vegetable production in Clemson, South Carolina. In addition, the pigweeds: Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, redroot pigweed, Powell amaranth, and smooth pigweed, are not easily separated by species at the immature stages. (c) Foliage of young Powell amaranth plants. Smooth and redroot pigweed have an upright habit like Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, but both have at least slightly hairy stems. photo by Phil Westra via Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. The redroot pigweed grows to 2-6 inches in height. Leaves are round to oval in shape and have prominent veins; both leaves and stems are covered in fine hairs (pubescent). (Available online at: Kumar, V., D. C. Brainard, and R. R. Bellinder. rough pigweed. Smaller inflorescences may also occur in upper leaf axils. Pigweed (Amaranth) species leaves and petioles: A. Palmer amaranth female plant, B. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. Redroot pigweed competes more aggressively against crops at high levels of soil nitrate-N, whereas high levels of ammonium-N seem to inhibit the weed (Blackshaw and Brandt, 2008; Teyker et al., 1991). Although all pigweeds compete vigorously against crops, seedlings of Powell, smooth, and redroot pigweeds (Fig. Stems and leaves may be smooth and hairless, or covered with fine hairs. Comparative growth of six, Steckel, L. E., C. L. Sprague, E. W. Stoller, and L. M. Wax. However, the competitive effects of smooth pigweed on lettuce has been attributed by the weed's rapid uptake of soil P (Santos et al., 1998). A large majority of the populations discovered last fall had been misidentified as waterhemp for a number of years, which allowed the populations to spread quickly to unmanageable levels. There is some evidence that pigweeds may reduce crop yields through allelopathy. Application of composted chicken manure shifted the competitive balance between Powell amaranth and cowpea in favor of the weed (Brainard et al., 2011). Recommended citation format: Hager, A. 2b), and Powell amaranth (Fig. Here are some tips to identify these four weeds from the seedling stage through plant maturity. Redroot Pigweed. (Available online at: Hoveland, C. S., G. A. Buchanan, and M. C. Harris. Although seed longevity in soil up to 20 years has been reported, the majority of seeds either germinate or become nonviable within several years after they are shed. Back; Search; Menu. Weed identification at the seedling and immature stages can be difficult but is often necessary because scouting should occur before weeds reach 4 inches in height. Redroot and smooth pigweeds (Amaranthus retroflexus L. and A. hybridus L.) Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii) Weed seed decline in irrigated soil after six years of continuous corn (, Sellers, B. Unpublished. Top of flowering plant. Many cultivation implements can be adjusted to move sufficient soil into rows of established crops to bury within-row pigweed seedlings that are less than 1 inch tall. Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) can be found in a wide range of soil textures and types though it is usually found in open areas that are exposed to the elements. (Available online at, Brainard, D. C., A. DiTommaso, and C. L. Mohler. Differential growth and competitive ability of. eFloras 2011 [Online]. It's origin is murky, though it may be native to eastern North American and/or Central America. Seedlings: Cotyledons of the redroot pigweed plant are narrow and have a sharp end. Soil incorporation of redroot pigweed was shown to reduce growth and yield of durum wheat significantly in Jordan (Qasem, 1995). Redroot pigweed seedling - notched tip, small fine hairs, ovate shaped leaves. (Available online at: Knezevic, S. Z., S. F. Weise, and C. J. Swanton. A. Common Waterhemp, C. Green pigweed, D. Redroot pigweed. Like the leaves of the seedlings, those of the mature plant are alternate with wavy margins. Optimum densities of three leguminous cover crops for suppression of smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus). Uva R H, Neal J C, DiTomaso J M. 1997. What It Looks Like. Pigweed seedlings. Germination responses may vary depending on the age of the seeds, and the geographical location or production system from which they were collected. They are ovate or rhombic-ovate. Redroot pigweed and smooth pigweed are native to North America and Central America, occurring as pioneer plants of riparian regions, while Powell amaranth is native to dry, mountainous regions in the southwestern United States and Mexico (Costea et al., 2004; Flora of North America). IDENTIFICATION. Stems have rough surfaces and can reach up to 2 m (6.5 ft) in height but are usually smaller. Young leaves may appear purplish on the underside. Amaranthus retroflexus L. Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family) Life cycle. redroot pigweed or Powell amaranth. Leaves are alternate, dull green, egg- to diamond shaped with a small notch at the tip, smooth to wavy margins and long petioles. Compost Science and Utilization 6: 30–34. When the crop is large enough to tolerate inter-row cultivation, slightly hilling before pigweed’s first true leaves emerge will control plants in the crop row. Redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed, and Powell amaranth are major weeds of agronomic and horticultural crops throughout temperate North America, and as far north as Ontario, Canada (Knezevic et al., 1994, Weaver and McWilliams, 1980). They are produced in dense and stiff terminal panicles (5-20 cm (2-8”) long and 1.5 cm (~3/5”) wide). XID Services, Inc., Pullman, WA. Synonyms: Pigweed. Fugate, L. 2009. The leaf margins are wavy and the petioles are purplish and hairy. However, reviews of multiple studies show that smooth pigweed is better adapted to warmer climates and lower latitudes, whereas Powell amaranth is best adapted and most aggressive in cool-temperate regions of the northern United States and southern Canada (Costea et al., 2004; Weaver and McWilliams, 1980). Seeds are produced late summer through fall. Intraspecific variation in seed characteristics of Powell Amaranth (Amaranthus powellii) from habitats with contrasting crop rotation histories. In the axils of the lower leaves are small clusters of flowers arranged on a branched stem (inflorescences). Individual flowers are small (<0.25 inch), inconspicuous, and clustered tightly in terminal inflorescences (flower heads) on main stems and major branches. Pigweed identification: A pictorial guide to the common pigweeds of the Great Plains. Guo, P., and K. Al-Khatib. Leaves are alternate and simple. 1993b. It is a common annual weed, producing many seeds that remain viable for up to 5 years. 2008. Mature fruits and seeds of smooth pigweed. 1984. Look for an upcoming book from Dr. Mohler on ecological management of weeds, from Cornell University Press. Redroot pigweed. Seed longevity of 41 weed species buried 17 years in eastern and western Nebraska. Image Gallery ; Similar Species. In addition to the "mulching effect" (reduced light and thermal germination stimuli at the soil surface, plus physical impedance of emerging seedlings), residues of rye and wheat release allelopathic substances that can inhibit pigweed seed germination for several weeks without affecting the growth of a transplanted or large-seeded crop. Seedhead and leaves of redroot pigweed. University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Fall moldboard plowing in plots with high seed populations reduced redroot pigweed emergence the following spring by more than 90 percent (from 3,500 to 250 per 10 square feet), but plowing fields in which seed production had been prevented for six years brought deeply buried seeds to the surface, and thereby increased emergence from 1 to 25 per 10 square feet. Branches are usually longer than those of redroot pigweed. The stout, hairy stem can grow up to 6 1/2 feet in height. Base of plant. (Available online at: Costea, M., S. E. Weaver, and F. J. Tardif. Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 10cm-2m (4in.-6½ft) high, but usually 50-90cm (20-36in. Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) • Very fine hairs are often found throughout the plant, though stems below the cotyledons can be smooth. Manage weeds on your farm: A guide to ecological strategies. "A Quick Pigweed Identification Exercise." Weed Identification. Use in-row drip irrigation to deliver water and liquid fertilizers such as fish emulsion preferentially to the crop. Suppression of Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii), shepherd's-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), and corn chamomile (Anthemis arvensis) by buckwheat residues: Role of nitrogen and fungal pathogens. Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 10cm-2m (4in.-6½ft) high, but usually 50-90cm (20-36in. Redroot pigweed is an abundant seed producer that may be found throughout the United States in horticultural, nursery, and agronomic crops, landscapes, roadsides, and also in pastures and forages. Pigweed identification can be difficult, especially at the seedling stage of growth. Male and female flowers are borne together on the same plant (monoecious). "A Quick Pigweed Identification Exercise." In Ontario, redroot pigweed that emerged in corn at the 3–5-leaf stage at populations of 0.5–2.5 weeds per foot of row reduced yields 10–30%, whereas pigweed emerging at the 7-leaf stage had little effect (Knezvic et al., 1994). The genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity (ability to vary in form or growth habit in response to environmental conditions) within each of these three species, and their potential to hybridize with each other and other weedy amaranths likely contributes to the capacity of these weeds to adapt to different environments, climates, production systems, and control tactics. You may then either print the fact sheet or save it as a PDF. Redroot pigweed Russian thistle Shepherdspurse Smartweed, Pennsylvania Spiny sowthistle Spurge, prostrate Spurge, leafy Sunflower, common Teasel, common and cutleaf Thistle, bull Thistle, Canada Thistle, musk Thistle, Russian Velvetleaf Venice mallow Waterhemp Wild buckwheat Wild carrot Wild parsnip Wild violet Woodsorrel, yellow Yellow woodsorrel. Erect summer annual. Photo credit: Phil Westra, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. pigweed; the flowering spikes of rough pigweed are whitish green while in bloom, while the flowering spikes of slender pigweed are more green (because its sepals are … The redroot pigweed emerged shortly after the corn, and has already significantly reduced corn yield potential. and WNMU). Plants have a long, fleshy, reddish to pink taproot and stems that are erect, light green, branched, 23-35 inches high, rough and angular. Presence of hairs on the leaves, stem, and petioles indicates that it is redroot or smooth pigweed. The three species are discussed together because they are difficult to distinguish from one another in the field, have similar life cycles and habits of growth, and present similar management challenges in crop production. Changes in sensitivity of, Schweizer, E. E., and R. L. Zimdahl. Photo credits: (a) Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis, Bugwood.org. The redroot pigweed grows to 2-6 inches in height. Top of flowering plant. If you have a garden and the weeds get out of hand, no problem! These are still susceptible to flaming or cultivation, but will become much tougher to control if allowed to grow beyond this stage. All three pigweed species emerge mostly from seeds in the top 0.5 inch of the soil profile, and rarely from below 1 inch. Plants have numerous flowers that are small, green and crowded into dense, finger-like spikes. 2000. Freshly formed seeds require higher temperatures than seeds that have overwintered in the soil (Mohler and DiTommaso, unpublished; Schonbeck and Egley, 1981). Slow-release sources of nutrients, such as well-ripened compost, are less likely to stimulate pigweed growth by releasing large amounts of nitrate or soluble phosphorus into the soil than faster-release sources like manure or blood meal. Because redroot pigweed can hybridize with other amaranth species, identification to species … Summer cover crops and green manures provide a competitive canopy during the season of greatest emergence and growth of these three pigweeds. Weed Science 44:74–86. Amaranthus retroflexus L. Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family) Life cycle. Identification of Palmer amaranth and waterhemp Proper identification is an important component of managing Palmer amaranth and waterhemp. (Available online at: Weaver, S. E. 1984. A. Blades are dull and green above while hairy beneath or at least along the veins. Small dark brown-black seeds like other pigweed species (NM State Univ. Seedlings can be eliminated by harrowing spring grains between the 3-leaf stage and stem elongation. Weeds of the South. Pigweeds are prolific seed producers that can, continue to form seeds even after mowing or tilling. Pigweed (Amaranthus species) are in full flower. Sprouted pigweed seeds can be added to salads while the tiny pigweed seeds can be roasted, crushed and used as cereal substitute. The biology of Canadian weeds. They are ovate or rhombic-ovate. (Available online at: McLachlan, S. M., C. J. Swanton, S. F. Weise, and M. Tonnenar. High-temperature effects on germination and survival of weed seeds in soil. (Available online at, Brainard, D. C., R. R. Bellinder, and A. DiTommaso. 1994. It has a long, fleshy, reddish to pink taproot. I thought it might be a good idea to refresh weed identification skills based on characteristics of the flowering structure. (a) Inflorescence of redroot pigweed. (Available online at: Flora of North America. Close mowing or weed-whacking between crop rows can greatly reduce seed formation, though axillary buds at basal leaf nodes on the stem can regenerate side shoots and thereby set seed. Available at. May 11, 2015. Mulch is an option in vegetable and small fruit; make sure to apply a thick and dense mulch. 44. Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) … Pigweeds and waterhemps belong to a group of plants known as the amaranths (genus Amaranthus). Veins of the leaf lower surface are predominantly white. When weed control was discontinued after three years, the pigweed seedbank level recovered to more than half of the starting level by the end of the study. 1996. Redroot and smooth pigweeds (Amaranthus retroflexus L. and A. hybridus L.) Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii) Seed germination in redroot and smooth pigweeds is promoted by high temperatures (86–104°F), diurnally fluctuating temperatures (e.g., 59°F / 95°F), and light (Guo and Al-Khatib, 2003; Schonbeck and Egley, 1980; Steckel et al., 2004)–stimuli which are related to proximity to the soil surface and absence of shading vegetation. Although reducing tillage may not in itself lower pigweed populations or help in the management of these weeds, surface residues of winter cover crops rolled down for no-till planting of a subsequent production crop may be quite effective. At emergence before a full set of true leaves appear, pigweeds can be confused with other weed species such as wild buckwheat, eastern black nightshade, and ladysthumb. Search . The allelopathic effect of three, Santos, B. M., J. Redroot pigweed Amaranthus retroflexus L.. Family: Amaranthaceae Life cycle: Annual Native status: Native to North America Habitat: Crop fields, waste areas General description: Erect, branched plant reaching heights of 6 ft. Key ID traits: Stems hairy; leaves are egg-shaped and often reddish underneath and with wavy margins; first leaf usually has notch at tip. Book published by Cornell University, Ithaca NY. redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) Identification Tips tall, erect, branching summer annuals that reach heights of 3–6 feet and occasionally more Stems and leaves may be smooth and hairless, or covered with fine hairs. (d) Powell amaranth inflorescence. Best printed in Google Chrome. Effect of corn-induced shading on dry matter accumulation, distribution, and architecture of redroot pigweed (. Pigweed causing farmers to rethink farming methods. Habit. Its most common habitats are roadsides, waste places, gardens, and river banks. Flowers are greenish and small. If those weeds are Redroot Pigweed Amaranth. Flowering structure is highly branched with male and female flowers on the same plant. Redroot pigweed grows in cultivated fields, pastures, roadside ditches, and undeveloped areas. Multimedia. Redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed, and Powell amaranth are three closely-related amaranths that have become serious cropland weeds throughout the United States and into southern Canada. For example, seeds from Powell amaranth growing on dairy farms in upstate New York with a corn – alfalfa (multi-year) rotation were more dormant and longer lived than Powell amaranth seeds from fields under intensive vegetable production (Brainard et al., 2007). 1994. To avoid adding weed seeds to crop fields, raw manure and any other organic materials that may contain viable pigweed seeds should be hot-composted for at least four weeks, with several turns to ensure thorough heating of all the material, before application. 2c) … The leaves are hairy … 2004. photo by NY State IPM Program at Cornell University via flickr.com, photo by Bruce Ackley from The Ohio State University via Bugwood.org. To maximize the competitive advantage of small grain crops over the weed, it is important to set up a dense, uniform, and healthy stand. Pigweeds are prolific seed producers that cancontinue to form seeds even after mowing or tilling, so it is important to clean up fields soon after harvest and Remove plants that have flowered from the field. Smooth and redroot pigweed have an upright habit like Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, but both have at least slightly hairy stems. The distinctly red or pink taproot and lower stem for which redroot pigweed was named is not a definitive characteristic of this species, as other Amaranthus species, including smooth pigweed and Powell amaranth, sometimes show similar coloration. Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 11, 2015. (c) Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California-Davis, Bugwood.org, (d) Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming. Redroot pigweed – Amaranthus retroflexus. Figure 2. 3). Because of the great genetic variability, adaptability, and hybridization potential of these three weeds, populations at different locales may respond differently to temperature, other germination stimuli, and weed control tactics. A Quick Pigweed Identification Exercise Aaron Hager. 6) remain small and vulnerable to cultivation, rotary hoeing, or flame weeding for 2–3 weeks after emergence. In recent years, several more aggressive amaranths have superseded redroot and smooth pigweeds as top concerns among farmers in some areas, including Palmer amaranth in the South (Fugate, 2009), waterhemp in the Midwest (Horak and Loughin, 2000), and Powell amaranth in the northeastern United States and Canada (Weaver, 1984). Avoiding excessive fertilization reduces pigweed’s competition with crops. 2004. Blades are dull and green above while hairy beneath or at least along the veins. Changes in germinability, dormancy, and viability of, Qasem, J. R. 1995. Also known as Pigweed or Amaranth. Redroot pigweed – Amaranthus retroflexus. Kumar, V., D. C. Brainard, and R. R. Bellinder. Redroot pigweed seedling - notched tip, small fine hairs, ovate shaped leaves. Weed Science 56:743–747. Seedlings Stems below the cotyledons (hypocotyls) are without hairs (glabrous) but may sometimes be slightly hairy, and are often red in color, especially near the base. 1976. Weed Science 53: 175–186. Both Palmer amaranth (left) and waterhemp lack hairs on the stem, petioles, and leaves compared to redroot (right) or smooth (Purdue Univ.). A Quick Pigweed Identification Exercise Aaron Hager. A buckwheat green manure suppressed the emergence and growth of Powell amaranth, partly by taking up available soil N, and partly by releasing allelopathic compounds from decaying buckwheat residues (Kumar et al., 2008, 2009). These species can become very problematic and reduce crop yields. Redroot pigweed, smooth pigweed, and Powell amaranth are three closely-related amaranths that have become serious cropland weeds throughout the United States and into southern Canada. 1981. The stem of the pigweed is what makes this plant so distinctive. Illinois populations of Powell amaranth seeds germinated fairly rapidly (in 1.5–3 days) over a wide temperature range (59–95°F), and showed relatively little additional response to diurnal temperature fluctuations (Steckel et al., 2004). (a) Redroot pigweed foliage and developing flower head. 1,200 Weeds of the 48 states and adjacent Canada: Interactive identification guide [DVD]. B. (c) Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming. Also, redroot pigweed flowers are held in short, thick terminal branched spikes and not in elongated, stiff, mostly unbranched spikes as for Powell amaranth. Veins of the leaf lower surface are predominantly white. • Branches of the flowering structure are compact, usually more than 11⁄2 inches long, and thinner than a pencil. (For reference, some seedlings may penetrate 3,600 lb/acre of loose straw.). In a field study in Colorado, preventing seed production for six consecutive years reduced existing redroot pigweed seed populations in the soil by 99 percent (Schweizer and Zimdahl, 1984). Each female flower matures into a dry fruit (capsule) containing a single, small (0.04–0.05 inch diameter), dark red to black, shiny seed (Fig. CONTROL TIPS. Permalink . Green and smooth pigweed very similar. The goal is to "keep the weed guessing" by varying the timing of cultivation, crop competition, and other stresses on the weed population. Interference of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), Palmer amaranth (A. palmeri), and common waterhemp (A. rudis) in soybean - Volume 51 Issue 1 - … Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 11, 2015. Redroot Pigweed is found in all manner of disturbed soils such as roadsides, railroads, cultivated fields, weedy shores, vacant lots, old homesteads and backyard gardens. A. Kendig, and M. R. Ellersieck. 4a and 4b). The lower stem and taproot are reddish colored. Suppression of Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii) by buckwheat residues: Role of allelopathy. 1993a. Redroot pigweed. The biology of Canadian weeds. A number of pigweed species are found in Ohio. Table 1. Egley, G. H. 1990. Leaves are diamond-shaped to oval or egg-shaped with the broader end nearest the petiole (ovate). Mature plants grow upright 2 to 3 feet tall. Weed Science 38: 429–435. Redroot pigweed forms terminal inflorescences up to 8 inches long by 0.5–2 inches wide (Bryson and DeFelice, 2009). A., R. J. Smeda, W. G. Johnson, J. The leaves are alternate, stalked, dull green, oval-shaped, rough and 3-4 inches long. 2003. 1980. Omami, E. N., Haigh, R. Medd, and Nicol. Palmer amaranth (A. palmeri) 5. spiny amaranth (A. spinosus) 6. tumble pigweed (A. albus) 7. prostrate pigweed (A. blitoides) 8. waterhemp (A. tuberculatus = A. rudis) These heat-loving summer annuals emerge after the spring frost date, grow rapidly, compete … The leaf blades taper to rounded or… Figure 1. 2b), and Powell amaranth (Fig. Chase, W. M. Stall, and C. M. Hutchinson. Identifying the Enemy; September 7, 2001: Accurate identification of Amaranthus (pigweed) species can be very difficult, especially during early vegetative development because many of these species exhibit similar morphological characteristics (i.e., many look very similar). Seed maturation generally occurs a few weeks earlier in Powell amaranth and northern populations of redroot pigweed than in smooth pigweed; thus, the former two species are better able to complete their life cycle within a short frost-free season. 1999. Pigweed seed density may be reduced by rotating the seed bank with sod crops, bare fallows, and/or integration of a legume crop. The leaf shapes of Palmer amaranth are ovate to diamond shape and widest at the base. Multimedia. Mature plant: Stems of the mature plant are stout with a thick and smooth lower part and a hairy, branched upper part. Interference of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), Palmer amaranth (A. palmeri), and common waterhemp (A. rudis) in soybean - Volume 51 Issue 1 - Curtis … One effective management method is a stale seedbed, including a one- to two-week lag between initial and final seedbed preparation in late spring or summer. Image courtesy of Larry Kuhns. Presence of hairs on the leaves, stem, and petioles indicates that it is redroot or smooth pigweed. pigweed; the flowering spikes of rough pigweed are whitish green while in bloom, while the flowering spikes of slender pigweed are more green (because its sepals are … Weed Science 57: 66–73. Pigweeds have the C4 photosynthetic pathway, which gives them an ability to grow and develop rapidly in high temperature and high light conditions. 1980. Plants have a long, fleshy, reddish to pink taproot and stems that are erect, light green, branched, 23-35 inches high, rough and angular. Redroot pigweed emerging with crops demonstrated this response in field trials in Ontario; however, higher levels of shade (due to higher crop population, or later weed emergence relative to the crop), greatly reduced the weed's growth and development (McLachlan et al., 1993a, 1993b). 1998. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. Also, redroot pigweed flowers are held in short, thick terminal branched spikes and not in elongated, stiff, mostly unbranched spikes as for Powell amaranth. 2011. Leaves. Amaranth, Spiny Amaranthus spinosus; Lambsquarter Chenopodium album The go-to for weed ID in the Northeast; look for a new edition sometime in 2019. Redroot pigweed (, Schonbeck, M. W., and G. H. Egley. Effect of corn-induced shading and temperature on rate of leaf appearance in redroot pigweed (, McLachlan, S. M., M. Tollenaar, C. J. Swanton, and S. F. Weise. Seedlings of the two species are difficult to differentiate and the presence of a reddish-pink root is not a reliable characteristic for differentiating redroot pi. 2007. If those weeds are Redroot Pigweed Amaranth. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. Burnside, O. C., R. G. Wilson, S. Weisberg, and K. G. Hubbard. Welcome to the public website of eOrganic, the Organic Agriculture Community of eXtension, Funding for eOrganic is provided by USDA NIFA and other grant programs including Western SARE, Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California–Davis, Bugwood.org, Phil Westra, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-3180.2004.00392.x/abstract, http://dx.doi.org/10.1614/WT-D-10-00134.1, http://pubs.aic.ca/doi/abs/10.4141/P02-183#citart1, http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=200006982, http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242415662, http://dx.doi.org/10.1614/0043-1745(2000)048[0347:GAOFAS]2.0.CO%3B2, http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/Item.aspx?catId=236&pubId=1754, http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3180.1999.00149.x, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3180.1995.tb02015.x, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-3040.ep11611005, http://dx.doi.org/10.1614/0043-1745(2003)051[0329%3ACGOSAS]2.0.CO%3B2, https://doi.org/10.1080/1065657X.1998.10701906, Blackshaw, R. E., and R. N. Brandt. So if a pigweed plant has a red root, this does not always identify the plant as redroot pigweed! Redroot and smooth pigweeds have spread throughout temperate regions around the world, and their long-standing reputation as troublesome summer annual weeds has led to an extensive body of research on their seed dormancy and germination, plant growth characteristics, competition with crops, and response to control tactics.

redroot pigweed identification

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