These two pictures, from the same patch on the South Side as the ones that appeared here yesterday, seemed worth adding to the collection. The one above gives us a close view of the inflorescence (click to make it even bigger), which might help any botanical enthusiasts give us a better identification if indeed Father Pitt is wrong about this being Amaranthus hypochondriacus.
A large and vigorous patch of these amaranths was happily blooming from sidewalk cracks and other unlikely footholds around a little rowhouse on the South Side. Closely related species of Amaranthus are notoriously hard to distinguish, and botanists disagree on the classification; Gray regards Amaranthus hypochondriacus as a form of Amaranthus hybridus. Any reader who can do a better job of identifying these plants is encouraged to do so, even begged to do so. At any rate, it is a striking flower, closely related to the garden favorite Love-Lies-Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus). As distinguishing features of this plant, note the numerous flower stalks from leaf axils up and down the stem, the long petioles (about the length of the leaves), and the thickish inflorescences with a habit of sagging.