Amaranth

(Amaranthus spp.)

Other Names:
Pigweed

Range:

Family:
Amaranthaceae - Amaranth Family

Growth Type:
Course looking herbaceous perennial

Height:
Typically erect, although sometimes trailing 3 - 4 feet tall, but can grow much taller under favorable conditions.

Leaves:
Alternate, ovate to lance shaped, course on long petiole

Stem/Trunk:
Stems stout, course, hairy

Root:
Red in color

Flower Season:
Late summer to early autumn

Flower Appearance:
Dense bristly green flower and seed cluster which arise from the leaf axils. The green flowers are quite small, but they are so numerous that it bears mention. The flowers are surrounded by hair like bracts.

Seed/Fruit:
Individual plant can make approximately 200,000 seeds.

Miscellaneous characteristics:
Amaranth has been cultivated as a food crop for thousands of years. It was the principal crop of the Aztec. Amaranthus is a diverse genus with numerous species found throughout the world. Many growing right next to one another. Luckily, all are edible.

Habitat:
Amaranths grow along roadsides, in fields, and waste areas.

Parts Used:
Leaves - Late spring to autumn.
Seeds - Autumn to early winter.

Uses:
Wild Food Uses:
The leaves are high in vitamin C. Tender leaves can be cooked for 10 - 15 minutes, or added to salads. The leaves of some species can be very unpalatable, so it is a good idea to sample the leaves before you gather a large quantity.
The numerous tiny black seeds are highly nutritious. They are high in protein, and contain vitamins E, and B complex. they can be mixed 1 part seed to 2 parts water or stock, brought to a boil, covered, and simmered for about 25 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. The seeds also make a very nutritious flour. I have added the seeds to bread dough to yield a highly nutritious and protein packed loaf.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
None known

Medicinal Actions:
N/A

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