Jan. 30, 2018

mat amaranth, Amaranthus blitoides

Mat amaranth is a bit mysterious. Its wind pollinated relatives are tall plants that stick their heads up high to catch the air currents. Why then do we have one that sprawls along the ground? What advantage has it found? I can only speculate. Is it the Bedouin of plants? Adapted to open hostile ground that other plants stay out of? Places where the wind can reach the ground to pick up the pollen? Like the sidewalk where this was clinging to a crack? Nature always finds a way. This weedy plant now grows in every state except HI, MS, and NC (I don't really believe it's not in MS and NC), and in AB, BC, MB, ON, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 8/22/11.