A picture of a Prince's Feather

Prince's Feather

Amaranthus cruentus

Also known as

Foxtail Amaranth, Mexican Grain Amaranth, Purple Amaranth, Red Amaranth, African-Spinach, Indian-Spinach, Sudan-Spinach, Blood Amaranth, Bush Greens, Caterpillar Amaranth, Panicled Amaranth, Red Shank

20120921Rispen-Fuchsschwanz Hockenheim by AnRo0002 (CC0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

10b

USDA zone

2°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

2m

Max

2m

50cm

Min

50cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Prince's Feather

A red Amaranthus cruentus flower in a field
Some pink Amaranthus cruentus flowers on a plant

Prince's Feather Overview

Amaranthus cruentus is believed to have originated from Amaranthus hybridus, with which it shares many morphological features. It’s equally at home among tropical plants or colder climate perennials. The plant is usually green in color, but a purple variant was once grown for use in Inca rituals. There is about 50 Amaranthus species and three(A. cruensis, A. caudatus and A. hypochondriacus) is used commercially in producing grains. It is a low GI food, rich in proteins and vitamins. Amaranthus is one of the C4 plants, being very effective in using Carbon in producing biomass. Uses: Culinary, medicinal, soil conditioner.

Common problems with Prince's Feather

Hot, humid weather tend to exacerbate disease and pest issues, like white rust and brown rust. Wet rot or stemrot caused by the fungus Choanephora cucurbitarumis is the main disease. Amaranthus are also prone to aster yellows, viruses, and aphids.

Prince's Feather Companion Plants

Beetroot, onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes

How to harvest Prince's Feather

Harvest fresh leaves throughout spring, summer and autumn. Start harvesting seeds when the flowers starts dying or browning a bit. At this time, cut all of the flowers and place them in paper bags to dry the rest of the way. Collect seeds by shaking seed heads over an open dish.

How to propagate Prince's Feather

Seed

Sowing time best in Spring/Summer with a spacing of 50 cm to 1 m. Sowing depth is ideally 6 mm. Germination time takes between 5 - 12 days.

Special features of Prince's Feather

Crop rotation

Heavy Feeder

Other uses of Prince's Feather

Culinary, medicinal, soil conditioner

culinary

Leaves are edible when young.

medicinal

Source of vitamins and minerals boosting immune system.