5. Amaranthus retroflexus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 991. 1753.
反枝苋 fan zhi xian
Stem erect, light green, 20-80 cm tall, stout, branched or not, slightly obtusely angulate, densely pubescent. Petiole light green, 1.5-5.5 cm, hairy; leaf blade ovate-rhombic or elliptic, 5-12 × 2-5 cm, both surfaces shortly hairy, but densely hairy abaxially, base cuneate, margin entire and undulate, apex acute or notched, with a mucro. Complex thyrsoid structures terminal and axillary, erect, 2-4 cm in diam., including many spikes; terminal spikes longer than lateral ones. Bracts and bracteoles white, subulate, 4-6 mm, apex slenderly long pointed. Tepals white, oblong or oblong-obovate, 2-2.5 mm, membranous, with a green midvein, apex acute or notched, with a mucro. Stamens slightly longer than perianth. Stigmas 3, rarely 2. Utricles light green, ovoid, compressed, shorter than perianth, circumscissile. Seeds brown or black, subglobose, ca. 1 mm in diam., obtuse at margin. Fl. Jul-Aug, fr. Aug-Sep. 2n = 32*, 34*, 102*.
Waste places, field margins, roadsides. Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Zhejiang [native origin uncertain; now cosmopolitan].
One of us (Clemants) does not recognize the following varieties.