Amaranthus, often known as choulai or Amaranth, is a used as a flowering plant, leafy vegetable and edible grains. These adaptable plants have been cultivated all over the world for both ornamental and culinary purposes. Amaranthus different species are originated from the Central and South America, India and SE Asia. Amaranthus species are recognised for their bright foliage, which ranges from striking green and red to deep purples and adds a dash of colour to gardens and landscapes.

Species of Amaranthus

Amaranthus acanthochiton

The greenstripe, A. acanthochiton, is an annual plant species. It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows at elevations of 1000-2000 m. Flowers are pale green and grow in dense terminal spikes. The Hopi Indians consumed the seeds and young leaves as food. The seeds were boiled into a porridge, and the leaves were eaten as greens.

Amaranthus albus

It is also called as the white pigweed. A. albus is an erect or rising annual plant. Edible leaves and seeds are occasionally collected from the wild and used locally.

Amaranthus arenicola

It is commonly called sand amaranth or sandhill amaranth.

Amaranthus australis

A. australis is also known as southern amaranth or southern water-hemp. It is a herbaceous annual.

Amaranthus bigelovii

It is flowering plant commonly known as Bigelow’s amaranth.

A. blitoides

It is commonly called mat amaranth, prostrate pigweed, procumbent pigweed, prostrate amaranth, or matweed, is a glabrous annual plants species.

A. blitum

A. blitum, also known as purple amaranth or Guernsey pigweed, is a species of annual plant in the commercially important plant family Amaranthaceae. It is also to be used as a leafy vegetable.

Amaranthus caudatus

Native to India, Africa and Peru is a blooming plant that blooms once a year. It is also known as love-lies-bleeding amaranth, pendant amaranth, tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth, and quilete.

A. cruentus

A. cruentus is a flowering plant that produces the nutritious amaranth grain. It is one of three species grown for grain, along with A.  hypochondriacus and A. caudatus. It is known as shravani maath or rajgira in Maharashtra. It is known as chuvanna cheera or cheera in Kerala. It is known as “Dantina soppu or harive soppu” in Karnataka.

Amaranthus dubius

This species is popular as a leafy vegetable in South and Southeast Asia, as well as in Africa.

Amaranthus tricolor

The plant is often cultivated for ornamental and culinary purposes.

Other species:

A. viridis, A. anderssonii, A. wrightii, A. watsonii, A. thunbergii, A. powellii, A. greggii, A. furcatus.

Source: GBIF

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