Also known as
Blood Amaranth, Red Amaranth, Amaranthus 'Mexican Grain', Pers Amarant (Afr.), Prince's feather, Mexican grain amaranth
20120921Rispen-Fuchsschwanz Hockenheim by AnRo0002 (CC0)
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images 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
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
Other uses of Purple Amaranth
Culinary, medicinal, soil conditioner
Leaves are edible when young.
Source of vitamins and minerals boosting immune system.