Amaranthus hypochondriacus

Amaranthus hypochondriacus.

Common names include Love Lies Bleeding and Prince-of-Wales Feather.
The erect annual plants are around 50 to 100 cm high but occasionally 2 m.
The multiple green stems are sometimes branched.
There may be some hairs mainly on the upper branches.

Simple alternate leaves up to 12 cm long are on a petiole up to 7 or 8 cm long.
The ovate to diamond-shaped green blades have a smooth edge.

Terminal inflorescences are an erect spike up to 25 cm long that may be branched (a panicle).
There may also be slender 6 cm long spikes in the upper leaf axils.
Spikes have spirally arranged clusters of small densely packed flowers.
The ovate membranous bracts and bracteoles are 5 or 6 mm long.
They have a thick green or purple midrib that extends into a long thin spine-like tip.

Flowers are unisexual with male and female on the same plant.
There are no petals but 3 to 5 ovate to oblong tepals (sepals) up to 3.5 mm long.
The deep reddish-purple tepals have a pointed tip.
Male flowers have 3 to 5 stamens.
Female flowers have a superior ovary with 3 stigmas on short spreading styles.

The fruit are a 3 to 4 mm long slightly flattened ovoid capsule known as a utricle.
The slightly nodular green and purplish surface matures to white.
Capsules rupture by splitting around the middle with the top half lifting off (circumsessile).
Each has 1 shiny black, reddish-brown or white seed around 1 mm long.
The spherical seeds are slightly to markedly flattened.

Amaranthus hypochondriacus ‘Green Thumb’.
A bushy annual plant up to 60 cm high with erect spikes of greenish flowers.
(Other cultivars can have red or green stems and dark or bright red, burgundy, purple or yellow flowers).

The Amaranthus caudatus cultivar ‘Green Tails’ also has green inflorescences but these are pendulous tassels.