What Does Pigweed Look Like?

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve probably wondered what Pigweed looks like. You might have heard the term before, but you’re not sure what it means.

What exactly is pigweed, and how can you get rid of it if it appears in your yard? Throughout this article, we will be taking a closer look at this pesky weed, how and where it develops, and offer some ideas on how to get rid of Pigweed.

So, what does Pigweed look like? Keep reading for more information!

What is Pigweed?

The name pigweed covers a variety of weeds belonging to the Amaranthus genus. The most prevalent pigweed is known as Amaranthus retroflexus, also known as Redroot Pigweed and Common Amaranth.

However, there are other species of Amaranthus called Mat Amaranth or Prostrate Pigweed, as well as Spiny Amaranth. These plants are all known as Pigweed due to their relation to pigs. The weed’s leaves are similar to a pigs ear, and it may be found in muddy, marshy locations where pigs feed.

Pigweeds are invasive, hard to eradicate plants that may be annoying both gardeners and farmers. They continue to grow from their roots even if you or someone else has removed them.

Pigweed is known as an “early successional weed,” which means it thrives in recently disturbed areas, such as land that has been tilled (either by humans or by erosion), and quickly takes over these regions and crowds out other, more desirable plants.

Where Does Pigweed Grow?

Pigweed can be found in virtually every country and climate, although it was originally native to the Americas. Pigweed is a prevalent weed in the Southern United States, but it may also be seen throughout the whole country, so it might occur in your lawn as well!

During the summer, pigweed flourishes rapidly owing to the heat and dampness. They also grow fast, with one plant able to generate up to 300,000 seeds each year!

Pigweed can also develop very tall and take over the sunlight for other surrounding plants. This pigweed grows in wet soil near water sources, such as creeks, ponds, rivers, and pastures.

How to Identify Pigweed

Now that we know all about this weed and where it grows, let’s take a look at how to identify it.

Regardless of the sort of pigweed you have, these plants are straightforward to identify once they start popping up in your garden or lawn. Identify which kind it is and whether or not you have pigweed at all first.

Visual Characteristics 

Redroot pigweed can reach a height of 10 feet. The leaves on the plant can be up to 6 inches long and those at the top of the stems have the form of a lance, with ovular or diamond-shaped leaves in the middle.

At the top, there is a complex and lush cluster of flowers with several green spiny ‘bracts’ interspersed throughout. If you pull this weed out of the ground, it will have a red tinge to some or all of its roots.

On the other hand, Prostrate Pigweed tends to grow only a few inches or a foot in height, and the stalks are long and prostrate, or lying down on the ground. The flowers are tiny and light red-green in color. The leaves are only about inch long, and the plant grows in a radiate pattern.

Spiny pigweed has a stem that is red and pointed, with spikes shooting off of it. It may reach a height of up to 5 feet.

Growth Stages

The flowers on Pigweed grow in the late summer into autumn.

Other Unique Traits

In certain regions of the world, pigweed is a plant that you can eat. The plant’s leaves may be cooked as a green vegetable, although they do contain oxalic acid, which can irritate your stomach if eaten in large quantities.

Redroot pigweed seeds are edible in their raw or toasted form and, depending on the amount consumed, can be very nutritious for pigs and cattle. However, when present in large quantities, pigweed seeds may cause brief digestive discomfort in pigs or even nephrotoxicity and death.

In addition, Pigweed is one of the primary plants that turn into tumbleweeds.

Plants That Look Like Pigweed

Most members of the Amaranth genus are quite similar to all of the other members, as well as those in the related genus Celosia, which are primarily Cockscombs and Woolflowers.

How to Get Rid of Pigweed

The best approach to get rid of pigweed is to pull it from the ground by its roots. This is the first thing you should try – pulling as much of it out as possible. Then, if you can’t get rid of it all or want to make sure it’s truly gone, try one of these other techniques.

In addition to hand-pulling, vinegar, salt, boiling water, or even acetic acid can be used to get rid of pigweed naturally. Pour the solution over the plant while it is still small so that it may be killed without hurting other plants.

Then, if any plants haven’t been completely killed after pulling them from the ground, spray them with a weed killer that has glyphosate as its main ingredient. It’s critical to ensure that all pigweed has been destroyed before allowing cattle to graze in an area where pigweed has previously existed, as even small fragments remaining can redevelop and cause significant issues for years to come.

To Sum Up

Pigweed is a weed that may be found in virtually any part of the country. It has several identifying features, including growth stages and particular visual characteristics. We hope this article has helped you to learn exactly how to spot it next time you’re out and about.

If you see Pigweed in your garden, start working on eliminating it immediately! There are other plants that look similar to Pigweed, and it can quickly take over your lawn or neighborhood if not controlled and strictly monitored, so it’s important to learn how to identify it before getting rid of it

Don’t worry if you’re having difficulties eliminating Pigweed on your own; for additional information on how to get rid of Pigweed from your lawn, give us a call. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, and we hope everything goes well with your gardening!