Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple Amaranth, Red Amaranth, Prince's Feather, Mexican Grain Amaranth
Amaranthus cruentus

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus (am-uh-RANTH-us) (Info)
Species: cruentus (kroo-EN-tus) (Info)

Synonym:Amaranthus hybridus subsp. cruentus
Synonym:Amaranthus hybridus var. cruentus
Synonym:Amaranthus hybridus var. paniculatus
Synonym:Amaranthus paniculatus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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4 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive AmyMorie On Feb 19, 2010, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I discovered this plant thanks to the growers at Farmlab, Los Angeles. Grows wonderfully in my front yard edible garden. Deep red-burgandy leaves. I've taken a harvest of of leaves for cooking from plants over the course of a season, then trimmed and harvested for grain, and am enjoying a second round of low bloom on thick stems that now resemble rhubarb's bright red color.

Neutral Tetrazygia On Jul 12, 2008, Tetrazygia from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Although Amaranths are found the world over, Amaranthus cruentus is not native to India or elsewhere in Asia or the Old World. This particular species (along with its closest relatives) is native to Central and South America.

Positive Chickadee12 On Jan 15, 2008, Chickadee12 from Brookfield, CT (Zone 5b) wrote:

While a friend of mine was out for the day, I stopped by and planted 6 of these around her flagpole. When she returned, she was absolutely thrilled. She loved them even more when she saw how big they grew over the next couple of weeks. She gets lovely compliments from anyone who walks by, and people ask her what kind of plant they are. She sends these people to me, and, until now. I had forgotten what they were. Now I'm looking for seeds to give to anyone who shows interest. This is what I do with plants I love that are too big for my own garden. : )

Neutral daisyavenue On Aug 7, 2007, daisyavenue from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

Love this for its color and it fills in my cottage style garden beautifully but I got babies of this plant from another DGer 3 years ago and now all of my neighbors have it too. Not that it is not under-appreciated in this neighborhood! It is commonly used as a popcorn tasting grain mixed with honey to make Alegria (Spanish for happiness) in Mexico where a lot of my neighbors are from. The Aztecs actually would make sand painting style images of their gods in a mixture of the seeds and honey and eat them and the European priests saw it as being too similar to Communion so they banned the growth of amaranth. Also used around the world for its stalk and leaves as nutritious food (has a very high source of vegetable protein) although re-heating cooked greens is said to change the nitrates to nitrites so should be cooked with care for children and those who have kidney issues as it blocks absorption of calcium and zinc.

Positive Lala_Jane On Aug 5, 2007, Lala_Jane from North West, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

This could be considered by some to be a nuisance due to it's prolific self-seeding, but to me it is well worth the extra "weeding." I allow 3-4 of these to grow in a grouping and they make such a bold statement that people have actually knocked on my door to comment on their striking appearance.

Positive DaddyNature On May 31, 2007, DaddyNature from Atlanta, GA wrote:

I about fell-over, when I saw a grouping of these plants, in a public space. Naturally, I stopped my car, reversed to the public garden and took a closer look. I grabbed a paper bag and easily collected the tiny black seed....and found a small specimen to take with me. I kept the specimen alive during the winter, which got caught in a late Spring frost, on my deck, and died. The seed have grown very easily. The seed that I threw-out on the ground grew better than the ones I placed in flower pots. My only concern for this Red Amaranth is that it might take-over a garden......however, the plant is so incredibly gorgeous that I'm willing to take that risk. :)

Neutral Monocromatico On Aug 16, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant appears in abandoned urban terrains of the brazilian countryside, apparently prefering the rich, acidic, porous, and moderately moist soil of that region. Also will prosperate under intense solar radiation. May be a nuisance on gardens under these conditions, though itīs beautiful, ressembling the ornamental Amaranthus caudatus by the long, red blooms.

Neutral Terry On Aug 29, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Amaranthus cruentus is a bold ornamental plant, native to India, the Philippines and other warm countries.

'cruentus' implies bloody or gory, referring to the foliage as well as the colorful tassles that adorn this plant throughout the growing season.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Fresno, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Miami, Florida
North Port, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)
Snellville, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Cayuga, Indiana
Greentown, Indiana
Westminster, Maryland
Imlay City, Michigan
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Caldwell, New Jersey
Roswell, New Mexico
Buffalo, New York
Tonawanda, New York
Hendersonville, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Wren, Ohio
Grants Pass, Oregon
Beaumont, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Hondo, Texas
Des Moines, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

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