The Amaranthoideae are a subfamily of the Amaranthaceae. The stamens have anthers with two lobes (locules) and four pollen sacs. The main distribution of the subfamily is in tropical America, in tropical and Southern Africa, and in Australia.
The genera Amaranthus (the amaranths) and Celosia (the cockscombs) contain many ornamental species, as well as species whose seeds are used as pseudocereals and leaves as leaf vegetables.
The subfamily Amaranthoideae comprises about 57 genera with about 330 species. Phylogenetical research revealed that the subfamily is polyphyletic and its traditional classification (tribe Amarantheae Rchb. with two subtribes Amaranthinae und Aervinae) does not reflect the phylogenetic relationship. Therefore, a new taxonomical grouping is required. Müller & Borsch (2005) recognized several clades:basal group:
Bosea L., on Macaronesian Islands, and in Cyprus and western Himalaya.
Charpentiera Gaudich., endemic to Hawaii and the Australian Ridge (Tubuai-Islands)
Amaranthus L. (Syn.: Acnida L., Amblogyna Raf.), with about 60 species, occurring also extratropical in temperate regions.
Chamissoa Kunth, with about 24 species in Middle and South America.
Tribus Celosieae, with multiovulate ovaries. This tribe is the only monophyletic one. With about 5 genera and about 69 species:
Celosia L., with about 45-60 species.
Deeringia R.Br. (Syn.: Cladostachys D.Don, Dendroportulaca Eggli), with about 7 species.
Hermbstaedtia Rchb., in southern Africa.
Pleuropetalum Hook. f.
Cladus Aervoids, in tropical regions of Africa and Asia:
Aerva Forssk., with about 10 species.
Ptilotus R.Br. (Syn.: Dipteranthemum F.Muell., Trichinium R.Br.), with about 110 species in Australia
Cladus Achyranthoids, in tropical regions of Africa and Asia and on Pacific islands:
Achyranthes L., with about 15 species, for example:
Achyranthes mutica A.Gray
Calicorema Hook. f.
Cyathula Blume, with about 27 species.
Pandiaka (Moq.) Hook. f.
Psilotrichum Blume (Syn.: Psilostachys Hochst.), with about 14 species.
Sericostachys Gilg & Lopr.
Many genera are not yet investigated for their grouping into clades:
Achyropsis (Moq.) Hook. f.
Allmania R.Br. ex Wight, with only one species:
Allmania nodiflora (L.) R.Brown ex Wight, in tropical Asia.
Arthraerva (Kuntze) Schinz
Centema Hook. f.
Chionothrix Hook. f.
Dasysphaera Volkens ex Gilg, with about 4 species in tropical eastern Africa
Herbstia Sohmer (Syn. Siamosia K.Larsen & Pedersen)
Indobanalia A.N.Henry & B.Roy (Syn.: Banalia Moq.)
Kyphocarpa (Fenzl) Lopr. (Syn.: Cyphocarpa (Fenzl) Lopr. orth. var.), in southern Africa.
Lagrezia Moq. (Apterantha C.H.Wright)
Marcelliopsis Schinz (Syn.: Marcellia Baill.)
Omegandra G.J.Leach & C.C.Towns.
Pseudosericocoma Cavaco, with only one species:
Pseudosericocoma pungens (Fenzl) Cavaco, in southwestern and southern Africa.
Psilotrichopsis C.C.Towns.: with 1-3 species in Thailand and the Malaysian peninsula.
Rosifax C.C.Towns., with only one species:
Rosifax sabuletorum C.C.Towns., endemic in Somalia.
Saltia R.Br. ex Moq. (Syn.: Psilodigera Suess.), with only one species:
Saltia papposa (Forssk.) Moq., endemic on the southern Arabian peninsula.
Sericocoma Fenzl, with 2-3 species in southern Africa.
Sericocomopsis Schinz, with 2 species in tropical East Africa.
Sericorema (Hook. f.) Lopr., with 2 species in southern Africa.
Stilbanthus Hook. f., with only one species:
Stilbanthus scandens Hook. f., in Asia.
Trichuriella Bennet (Syn.: Trichurus C.C.Towns.), with only one species:
Trichuriella monsoniae (L. f.) Bennet, in Southeast Asia.
Volkensinia Schinz, with only one species:
Volkensinia prostrata Schinz, in East Africa.