Structure of the Pericarp in Some Amaranthus L. (Amaranthaceae) Species and its Taxonomic Significance

Mihai Costea, Wilfrid Laurier University
Giles Waines, University of California
Andrew Sanders, University of California

This article was originally published in Aliso: A Journal of Taxonomic and Evolutionary Botany, 20(2): 51-60. © 2001 The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Reproduced with permission.


In order to determine their taxonomic significance, 10 pericarp structure characters were scored for 21 Amaranthus L. taxa. In many, pericarp patterns permit recognition of the taxa as species. Differences between cultivated taxa and their wild relatives offer new arguments against their taxonomic union. The relationships between other closely related taxa are also analyzed (A. quitensis and A. hybridus; A. bouchonii and A. powellii; A. hybridus and A. powellii; A. blitum and A. emarginatus. Mechanisms of dehiscence and terminology for the fruit of Amaranthus are considered.