Red amaranth.

zeepJuly 25, 2014

New to this site, living in Cambodia and trying to figure out what on our property is edible... We have common pigweed which is considered a vegetable here, but I am trying to figure out if this plant (known locally as p'kaa mao dop aka 10 o'clock flower) is possibly red amaranth... It is a perennial here, prolific and grows back seasonally after being cut back upon going to seed. In the picture shown these are about 4.5 tall. It is not used as a vegetable as far as anyone here knows, they consider it an ornamental plant. Super common, fast growing and super hardy so I'm hoping someone can tell me if it is indeed edible and whether or not it is red amaranth. Googling around i would say it looks veryvery similar but that's all i have to go on. Thoughts?


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Per Wikipedia entry on Amaranth:

In Cambodia, it is known as "Ptee" (áÂÂáÂÂáÂÂá¸) where the leaf is used in cooking and to dip in a sauce base call tuk krueng(áÂÂá¹áÂÂáÂÂáÂÂáÂÂá¿áÂÂ).

It is also listed as a vegetable known to the Kmer:

Kmer Vegetables

And you can find it mentioned multiple times in this publication, as pti doung or Amaranth:

The Home Garden in Cambodia

My points being:

  • Amaranth is a type of pigweed

  • People in Cambodia already know pigweed is edible.

  • Amaranth is known in Cambodia

  • Amaranth is grown as an edible crop in Cambodia

  • If the plant above were Amaranth, it would most likely be known and named as Amaranth, and would not be referred to by a different name or referred to as an oramental.

So it seems unlikely to me that the above is actually an edible plant when the local people refer to it as an ornamental.

You could wait for it to set seed and see if it looks like Amaranth racemes. Of course by then the greens wouldn't be very edible any more. And there's no guarantee that even with similar looking racemes, that it is actually Red Amaranth.

If it were me, I'd trust the locals to know their business, and if they think that is an ornamental, then that is how I would treat it; and if I wanted red amaranth to eat, I'd locate a local source of seed, plant it, and eat that.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2014 at 4:25PM
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I grew up in Cambodia, and P'kaa maung dop (10 o'clock flower) is DEFINITELY NOT red amaranth (which is an edible vegetable along with the green kind). P'kaa maung dop is a kind of portulaca that looks like the second picture on this site . However, in my limited experience there, I only saw fuchsia colored portulaca in Cambodia, never yellow :(

As for the plant you're including here, my husband doesn't think it's an edible red amaranth.

Hope that helps,


    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 3:04PM
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