Tumble pigweed

Biological Name:

Amaranthus spp. (Tumble-pigweed)

Natural Habitat:

Tumble-pigweed: This plant is native to North America, and it can grow in a variety of habitats, including fields, meadows, and disturbed areas.


Tumble-pigweed also known as Amaranthus is a plant that is native to grassland and prairie regions of North America. It is an annual herb that can grow up to six feet tall and it has small oval-shaped leaves and small green or white flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is known for its ability to produce toxins that can be harmful to grazing animals and it is often considered a weed in agricultural fields. and it is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is pigweed a tumbleweed?
A: Common Tumbleweed Overview It is in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae and it is known by multiple common names including Common Tumbleweed, Tumble Pigweed, White Amaranth and White Pigweed.

Q: Is pigweed good for anything?
A: The leaves of pigweed are also incredibly nutritious. They’re high in vitamins A and C and folate, as well as calcium. In Jamaica, pigweed is known as callaloo and is a culinary staple.

Q: Should you pull pigweed?
A: If pigweeds are in the advanced reproductive stage and might drop viable seed when handled, carefully bagging plants is even more important, Farr and others say. Guy Collins, cotton Extension associate professor at North Carolina State University, also advocates hand pulling.

Q: Why is pigweed so difficult to control?
A: The researchers have determined a specific genetic feature, the extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) replicon, gives pigweed, or glyphosate resistant palmer amaranth, its resistance to glyphosate and makes this weed difficult to control.

Q: What part of pigweed is poisonous?
A: Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) is a common annual weed found throughout the United States. The weed can grow three to four feet; the flowers are green and prickly and the plant has oval shaped leaves. The pigweed’s leaves, roots and stems are toxic.

Q: Is pigweed poisonous to humans?
A: Yes, the weeds in the garden we call pigweed, including prostrate pigweed, from the amaranth family, are edible. Every part of the plant can be eaten, but the young leaves and growing tips on older plants are the tastiest and most tender. The seeds are nutritious, edible, and are not difficult to harvest.

Q: What happens if you touch a tumbleweed?
A: Russian thistle (Salsola kali), the most common plant referred to as “tumbleweed”” in the western United States can cause a dermatitis in persons who come into direct contract with it.

Q: Why do they call it pigweed?
A: Their common name, pigweed, may have comes from its use as fodder for pigs. Pigweed plants are commonly considered to be weeds by farmers and gardeners because they thrive in disturbed soils.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.