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A picture of a Purple Amaranth

Purple Amaranth

Amaranthus cruentus

Also known as

Blood Amaranth, Red Amaranth, Amaranthus 'Mexican Grain', Pers Amarant (Afr.), Prince's feather, Mexican grain amaranth

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 Purple Amaranth

20120921Rispen-Fuchsschwanz Hockenheim
Amaranthus cruentus Foxtail 2
A photo of Purple Amaranth
A photo of Purple Amaranth

Purple Amaranth 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 Purple Amaranth

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.

Purple Amaranth Companion Plants

Beetroot, onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes

How to harvest Purple Amaranth

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 Purple Amaranth

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 Purple Amaranth

Crop rotation

Heavy Feeder

Other uses of Purple Amaranth

Culinary, medicinal, soil conditioner

culinary

Leaves are edible when young.

medicinal

Source of vitamins and minerals boosting immune system.