A picture of a Common Tumbleweed

Common Tumbleweed

Amaranthus albus

Also known as

Tumble Pigweed, Prostrate Pigweed, Pigweed Amaranth, White Amaranth, White Pigweed, Pigweed, Stiff Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed Amaranth, Rolypoly

Amaranthus albus 3 by Stan Shebs (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Common Tumbleweed

A close up of a Amaranthus albus Tumbleweed plant
A close up of a green Amaranthus albus plant growing out of some wooden railway tracks
A close up of a Amaranthus albus plant with small pink flowers and green leaves
Some Amaranthus albus growing in the wild
This annual amaranth is often reported as forming a tumbleweed by late fall.

Common Tumbleweed Overview

Amaranthus albus is a herbaceous annual plant with a clumping habit. 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. The flowers are tiny and green-white, sometimes pink in colour and both male and female flowers are produced in the same clump of plants. Leaves are green in colour, with toothed, wavy-margined edges. Originating from North America, this species is considered very competitive due to its fast-growing, vigorous nature. It has a strong branching habit and typically grows to around 50cm in height. This plant forms tumbleweeds after dying, if allowed to dry out. Tumbleweed can be a problematic agricultural and environmental weed in certain locations such as Australia.

Common problems with Common Tumbleweed

How to propagate Common Tumbleweed



Special features of Common Tumbleweed

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Common Tumbleweed

Grown for the dense panicles of tiny flowers or for their colourful foliage as an ornamental. Also grown for culinary use, as the foliage of all varieties is edible and highly nutritious and tastes like spinach. The seeds are also edible and can be used as a cereal.


The leaves may be eaten.