|The Amaranthaceae are mostly herbs but rarely also shrubs or small trees comprising 65 genera and 900 species further characterized by the presence of betalains and p-plastids. The leaves are alternate or opposite, simple, estipulate, and generally entire. The flowers are bisexual or unisexual, typically very small, and frequently prickly due to bristly perianth and bracts. Each flower is subtended by a bract and two bractlets that commonly are scarious or membranous. A minute uniseriate perianth of 3-5, distinct or partially connate, membranous or papery sepals is also present. The androecium consists of usually 5 stamens that are opposite the sepals and which generally are united for part or all of their length into a membranous tube or crown-like structure, sometimes with minute appendages between the anthers. The compound pistil of 2-3 carpels has 1-3 styles and a superior ovary with one locule containing one or sometimes several basal ovules. The fruit is usually a utricle or circumscissile capsule. Each flower forms only one seed.
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