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Amaranthus

Amaranthus caudatus

Amaranth, Pigweed, Velvet flower (Eng.), Amarant, Wilde Spinasie, Marog (Afr.)

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A vigorous, hardy annual or short-lived perennial herbaceous plant with flowers, herbs, and weeds. Some varieties are grown and harvested for food - the seed one of the first grain crops and the young green leaves a green leafy vegetable. Some gives a colourful foliage appearance. They can be used to create vibrant bedding displays and makes great impact in flower borders and pots.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Gather seed heads from flower at any stage of maturity. Harvest seed heads for drying after most of the flowers have faded and the cluster feels firm. Hang up in a dry, well-ventilated place.

Propagation

Seed
Directly sow into the garden or start indoors in trays. Space seeds and cover by a light layer of potting soil. Transplant seedlings 30cm apart as soon as you can handle them.
Division
Separating plant with primary roots when mature.

Special features

Pot plant
Grows in pots/containers giving you the colourful and vibrant foliage appearance.
Attracts birds
Seedeaters like goldfinches, chickadees, grosbeaks and nuthatches.

Geography

Origin
South America
Natural climate
Coastal

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
The young leaves are used raw in salads or cooked like spinach - a popular leafy green in Africa. The seeds an ancient grain crop.

Personality

Family
Amaranthaceae
Flower colour
Purple, dark red, pink, gold, brown, yellow, orange, green, white - depending on variety., Burgandy
Scent
None

Problems

Night-flying beetles and Foliar insects such as leafminers, leafrollers, cutworms, aphids, flea beetles and mites.
Aphids
Aphids
Aphidoidea spp.

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