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Family Profile


Family Description

A family of about 65 genera and about 900 species, pantropic, with a few species extending into temperate zones; ten genera occur naturally in Australia.


Achyranthes - A genus of about 100 species in Africa, Asia, Malesia and Australia; one species occurs naturally in Australia.

Alternanthera - A genus of about 200 species in the tropics and subtropics; ten species occur naturally in Australia and three species have become naturalised.

Amaranthus - A genus of about 40-60 species in tropical and temperate areas; 10 or 11 species occur naturally in Australia with15 species that have become naturalised. Backer (1949).

Cyathula - A genus of about 27 species distributed in Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and North and South America with 1 species that have become naturalised.

Deeringia - A genus of about 7-12 species in Madagascar, Asia, Malesia and Australia; two species occur naturally in Australia.


Backer, C.A. (1949). Amaranthaceae. In 'Flora Malesiana.' Ser. 1, Vol. 4, (P. Noordhoff Ltd: Groningen.), pp. 69-98.

Hnatiuk, R.J. (1990). 'Census of Australian Vascular Plants.' Australian Flora and Fauna Series No. 11, (Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.), 650 pp.

Kanis, A. (1972). A review of the Amaranthaceae in Papuasia. Contributions from Herbarium Australiense 1:1-18.

Palmer, J. (2009) A conspectus of the genus Amaranthus (Amaranthaceae) in Australia. Nuytsia 19.

Stanley, T.D. & Ross, E.M. (1983). Amaranthaceae. In 'Flora of south-eastern Queensland.' Vol. 1, (Queensland Department of Primary Industries: Brisbane.), pp. 131-140.

Wheeler, J.R. Rye, Barbara L. Koch, B.L. Wilson, A.J.G. (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.