Pigweed, a leafy green vegetable that is also considered an annual weed in some gardens, has a distinctive erect stem that is thick, smooth and red on the bottom and rough with dense, short hair on top. Pigweed also has alternating green or red leaves on its stem.
Pigweed stems can grow to be up to 2 meters high, but their average height is typically between 10 centimeters and a meter. Other names for the leafy plant include redroot and its scientific name, Amaranthus retroflexus. Although pigweed is often referred to as a weed due to its propensity for growing in gardens without having been planted, its presence can have several beneficial effects for gardens. It can act as a companion plant for less hardy plants and provide shelter for pest-eating ground beetles.