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Amaranthus tricolor - L.

Common Name Chinese Spinach, Joseph's-coat, Fountain Plant, Tampala , Summer Poinsettia
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.
Habitats A widely cultivated plant, it is not known in a truly wild situation.
Range Tropical Asia
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Amaranthus tricolor Chinese Spinach, Joseph


http://www.biolib.de/
Amaranthus tricolor Chinese Spinach, Joseph
http://www.biolib.de/

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Summary

Bloom Color: Red. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Pyramidal, Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Amaranthus tricolor is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

A. gangeticus. L. A. melanocholicus.

Habitats

Cultivated Beds.

A widely cultivated plant, it is not known in a truly wild situation.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked. Often used at the young seedling stage[2, 46, 61], they are also cooked as a spinach and have a very mild flavour[183]. An excellent hot weather substitute for spinach[183]. The leaves contain about 3.5% protein, 0.25% fat, 6.6% carbohydrate, 3.1% ash, 24mg iron per 100g, 464mg calcium per 100g, they are rich in vitamin A and have a fair content of vitamins B1 and C[179]. On a zero moisture basis 100g of the leaves contains up to 2441mg calcium, 1008mg phosphorus, 51mg iron, 34mg sodium, 4475mg potassium, 37,623 micrograms beta-carotene equivalent, 0.68mg thiamine, 2.37mg riboflavin, 11.48mg niacin and 730mg ascorbic acid[218]. The crisp interior of large stems makes a tasty vegetable[183]. It can be eaten raw or cooked as an asparagus substitute[2, 61]. Seed - cooked[22, 177]. Very small, about 1mm in diameter[266], but easy to harvest and very nutritious. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated[K]. The seed contains saponins[218]. If this is the case it is probably best to either soak the seed for at least 12 hours and then rinse thoroughly before cooking or to give the seed a long slow cooking in order to destroy the saponins[K].

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 0g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 2441mg; Phosphorus: 1008mg; Iron: 51mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 34mg; Potassium: 4475mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 37623mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.68mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.37mg; Niacin: 11.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 730mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent.

The whole plant is astringent[240]. A decoction of the root is used with Cucurbita moschata to control haemorrhage following abortion[218]. A decoction of very old plants is taken internally to improve vision and strengthen the liver.

Other Uses

Dye.

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[168].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Specimen. Prefers a light well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position[200, 206], though it does succeed in heavier soils[206]. Tolerates fairly acid soils[206]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 7.8. This is basically a tropical plant and so requires a hot sheltered position in temperate climates if it is to do well[206, K]. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. A polymorphic species[1], it is often cultivated for its edible leaves, there are many named varieties[206]. This species is often cultivated in Asia for its edible leaves and seed[46, 58]. It is a very ornamental plant and is often grown in the flower garden[200]. Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the 'C4 carbon-fixation pathway', this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions[196]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation

Seed - sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm[133]. A minimum soil temperature of 10°c is required for germination, germination is better at temperatures above 20°c[206]. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination[133]. Cuttings of growing plants root easily[206].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Amaranthus albusProstrate Pigweed20
Amaranthus bidentata 21
Amaranthus blitoidesMat Amaranth20
Amaranthus blitumSlender Amaranth, Purple amaranth41
Amaranthus campestris 21
Amaranthus caudatusLove Lies Bleeding41
Amaranthus cruentusPurple Amaranth, Red amaranth40
Amaranthus diacanthus 20
Amaranthus dubiusSpleen Amaranth20
Amaranthus frumentaceus 20
Amaranthus graecizansSpreading Pigweed, Mediterranean amaranth20
Amaranthus hybridusRough Pigweed, Slim amaranth41
Amaranthus hypochondriacusPrince's Feather, Prince-of-wales feather43
Amaranthus mangostanus 20
Amaranthus mitchelliiBoggabri Weed20
Amaranthus pallidiflorus 20
Amaranthus palmeriCareless Weed20
Amaranthus polygamus 21
Amaranthus polystachyus 20
Amaranthus powelliiPowell's Amaranth20
Amaranthus quitensisAtaco20
Amaranthus retroflexusPigweed, Redroot amaranth, Wild Beet32
Amaranthus spinosusSpiny Amaranth23
Amaranthus standleyanusIndehiscent Pigweed20
Amaranthus tenuifolius 20
Amaranthus thunbergiiThunberg's Pigweed, Thunberg's amaranthus20
Amaranthus torreyiTorrey's amaranthus20
Amaranthus viridisCalalu, Slender amaranth32

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Dale Larson   Mon May 1 2006

Where can the seed for this plant be obtained? Dale Larson Rosendal@valkyrie.net

Pete McCallum   Wed Aug 23 2006

I found vegetable amaranth seeds in a local (Wheaton, MD) oriental grocery. Imported from Taiwan,the tiny, jet black seeds are labeled "Whiteleaf Amaranth" in two of the few words of English on the seed packet. They've germinated readily in containers in the central Maryland climate. Also, Rodale (Emmaus, Pa) has been developing and commercializing grain amaranth varieties for some 30 years.

Michelle   Sat Nov 11 2006

Found Amaranthus Gangeticus (also called "Elephant Head" Amaranthus) seeds being sold as an ornamental on eBay by a Canadian grower, and am growing them in my Texas garden. Very showy flowers!

eBay http://stores.ebay.com/Josies-Gardens

marian chodacki   Sat Jul 14 2007

I live in illinois and enjoy growing amaranthus,but have a problem,ones in a while one of them just goes soft on the stem and dies.Does anyone have a answer for me? i do grow them in the sun and they are staked.My e-mail is Marian@chodacki.com thank you

rashmi   Sun Apr 12 2009

available at www.vreeken.nl

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