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Publication #FPS-234

Gomphrena globosa Globe Amaranth1

Edward F. Gilman and Teresa Howe2


Globe amaranth produces small, globe-shaped flowers in shades of purple, pink, yellow, or white (Fig. 1). The purple form is most common in retail nurseries. Most horticulturists utilize globe amaranth in a mass planting spacing them 12 to 18 inches apart. Others use them as small specimens in rock gardens or plant them in containers. They are also attractive planted in a row along a walk or patio as an edging plant. Flowers can be dried for indoor use if cut just before they are fully opened. The plant grows 18 inches tall and prefers full sun and a moderately dry soil. Globe amaranth is resistant to heat and should not be over watered. It provides bright color to a garden or landscape where irrigation will be limited.

Figure 1. 

Globe amaranth

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Gomphrena globosa
Pronunciation: gom-FREE-nuh gloe-BOE-suh
Common name(s): globe amaranth
Family: Amaranthaceae
Plant type: annual
USDA hardiness zones: all zones (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 7: Jun; Jul; Aug
Planting month for zone 8: May; Jun; Jul; Aug; Sep
Planting month for zone 9: Apr; May; Jun; Jul; Aug; Sep
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: border; edging; mass planting

Availablity: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Height: 1 to 2 feet
Spread: .5 to 1 feet
Plant habit: round
Plant density: dense
Growth rate: slow
Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: oblong
Leaf venation: not applicable
Leaf type and persistence: not applicable
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: not applicable
Fall characteristic: not applicable


Flower color: white; pink; purple; yellow
Flower characteristic: showy


Fruit shape: no fruit
Fruit length: no fruit
Fruit cover: no fruit
Fruit color: not applicable
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; sand; loam; clay
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 12 to 18 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: not applicable
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Propagation is by seed planted directly into the garden or started early indoors.

Pest and Diseases

Globe amaranth is free of most pest and disease problems.



This document is FPS-234, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Teresa Howe, coordinator, Research Programs/Services, Gulf Coast REC, Bradenton; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.