|Positive ||amaranthus23 ||On Jun 8, 2008, amaranthus23 from Reading, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:
The word comes from the Greek amarantos~ the "one that does not wither", or the never-fading flower. ~Wikipedia
Amaranthus caudatus is a species of annual flowering plant. It goes by common names such as love-lies-bleeding, pendant amaranth, tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth, and quilete. Many parts of the plants, including the leaves and seeds, are edible, and are frequently used as a source of food in India and South America — where it is the most important Andean species of Amaranthus, known as Kiwicha (see also Andean ancient plants). This species, as with many others of the Amaranths, are originally from the American tropics. The exact origin is unknown, as A. caudatus is believed to be a wild Amaranthus hybridus aggregate.~wikipedia.com
The Rose and the Amaranth
An Amaranth planted in a garden near a Rose-Tree, thus addressed it: "What a lovely flower is the Rose, a favorite alike with Gods and with men. I envy you your beauty and your perfume." The Rose replied, "I indeed, dear Amaranth, flourish but for a brief season! If no cruel hand pluck me from my stem, yet I must perish by an early doom. But thou art immortal and dost never fade, but bloomest for ever in renewed youth."
From the FAMINE FOOD FIELD GUIDE
Edible part(s), preparation methods and palatability
Leaves and young shoots are edible. They are boiled and consumed as vegetable and the husk of the seed is also used as food in Konso while the young branches of the stalk are also eaten in South Omo by the Ari people. The plant seeds are also used for preparation of local beverage known as ‘Chaqa’ in Konso. The plant is very common and semi-domesticated on farm fields in Konso and South Omo. Some farmers have started to cultivate and intercrop the species on their farm fields near their homestead. In Konso the species is found intercropped with cotton, maize, sorghum and beans.
The leaves of Amaranthus spp. are high in vitamin A content and furthermore, have a high protein content of 27.8%. Fresh leaves contain higher quantities of both calcium and phos- phorus than cabbage.Compared to spinach Amaranthus spp. have greater protein, calcium, phosphorus, and iron content. The protein of these vegetables contains approximately 25% lysine, which is absent in some cereals such as maize. The consumption of these plants together with maize should balance the deficient nutrient.
Most Amaranthus species are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They mostly grow as a weed of cultivation in degraded land and built-up areas, along rivers, roadsides and forest edges. The species grow in the low- and midlands as well as on higher altitudes (900 – 2,600m) on a wide range of soils, but they are most common in middle and high altitudes (1,400 - 2,400m).