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Amaranth for Grain and edible leaves?

Posted by Drakemoore 8 - FL (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 20:45

I'm trying to decide on an Amaranth variety to try out. I'm looking to produce both a decent seed harvest as well as eat some of the greens off select plants.

From what I understand the most commonly planted commercial Amaranth come from the varieties Amaranthus cruentus, hypochondiacus, and tricolor.

Lesser used varieties are Amaranthus caudatus, hybridus and gangeticus.

Most of what I've read has led me to the understanding that all of these are either good seed producers or have tasty greens. Supposedly it's difficult to find a variety that will provide both.

The reason why I'm seeking to only plant one variety for the time being is that I'm looking to save seed for future plantings / sharing and I'd rather not end up with a ton of hybrid seed since I don't have any means of separating them at this time.

I also have read that Amaranth does well in poor, well drained soils which, is good for me. I have rather poor sandy soil here in north Florida and I've been trying to amend it organically but it's a slow and ongoing process. While Amaranth prefers poor soils I'm kind of standoffish of growing the very large cultivars as I fear they'll still get stunted.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

This post was edited by Drakemoore on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 20:46

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Amaranth for Grain and edible leaves?

Asian Amaranth is the vegetable type that is grown as a leafy vegetable (Amaranthus tricolor) It does of course grow a seed head but the heads and seeds are small. several varieties are available form vendors of Asian seed.
Grain Amaranth is of American origen and refered to as Mexican grain amaranth. These will be be the species cruentus or hypochondiacus. While grown mostly for the seed heads, I understand the leaves are also edible. A liitle more difficult to find a seed source, but there are a few vendors. I would suspect that these may be more suitable for double duty.

RE: Amaranth for Grain and edible leaves?

Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask that stupid question: What about the weed-amaranth? Can't you eat the leaves and seeds of those? How do they compare to the "bred" amaranth? I've seen asian folks picking these at parks, etc.

RE: Amaranth for Grain and edible leaves?

yes. actually most weeds are edible if you are hungry enough. the most common wild version of amaranth is pigweed.

Here is a link that might be useful: amaranth

RE: Amaranth for Grain and edible leaves?

Amaranth seed is also available from Botanical Interests. I picked up a packet of Amaranth Burgundy last year at their booth at a fair and hopefully will find a space to plant it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Botanical Interests, Amaranth

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