Amaranthus is derived from two Greek words, and refers to the inflorescence which in many species in long lasting and appears not to wither or fade. A family of herbs and shrubs with simple, opposite sometimes alternate leaves. Dry and papery bracts and bracteoles are persistent, the perianth of 3-5 parts is in one whorl, typically dry and papery, maybe variously fused. Staminal filaments often fused, staminodes sometimes present. Carpels 2-8, ovary superior; fruit variable, but often dry and dehisces around the middle (circumscissile).