Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm) 15-18 in. (38-45 cm) 18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
Hardiness: Not Applicable
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Magenta (Pink-Purple) Fuchsia (Red-Purple) Red Scarlet (Dark Red) Purple Dark Purple/Black Maroon (Purple-Brown)
Bloom Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Foliage: Grown for foliage Herbaceous Burgundy Dark/Black Bronze-Green Smooth-Textured Shiny/Glossy-Textured Good Fall Color
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season Flowers are good for cutting Flowers are good for drying and preserving
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Propagation Methods: From herbaceous stem cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; sow indoors before last frost From seed; direct sow after last frost From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
Seed Collecting: Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
On Jul 27, 2011, rolltiderusty from Madison, AL wrote:
This plant is very pretty. It is also big. We haven't used it yet, but want to before the growing season is out. We are going to try making cornbread with its food coloring soon. Next year when it is younger we will try its greens. We did not know you could eat them until it was already mature. Does anyone have a little more info on bagging the seed pods? Should I wait until some obvious change in the plant? Is it time to do so yet? I really want to harvest the seed and plant many more of these next year. I might, between the three we have growing, be able to collect enough seeds to make a small loaf of that gluten free bread someone mentioned. This plant is very delicate when first growing but is red in color from the beginning. It seems failry hardy too. This summer has been super hot and the plants have looked healthier than everything in the garden this year. We used rabbit manure before planting and fish emulsion a couple of times in the first month. Other than that, no fertilizer or chemicals were added.
On Jul 3, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
*Unbelievable* color, I mean amazing. Dark burgundy with the light hitting it flat, but everything from florescent scarlet to pale tawny pinks run riot with this plant. I have this in a very hot exposed area, and it was grown tall and well behaved in its first few months. If aesthetics are your game, however, know that this plant gets leggier and lankier as it draws all the resources for the flowers. It's a challenge since they form such lovely rosettes of foliage early on, so I'm off to research low, late blooming plants to couple with it.
On Feb 6, 2005, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
An annual 4-7 ft. Bright-burgundy, with many branched stems and foliage; stately, erect, scarlet, flower plumes which stand out boldly, fresh or dried. Tolerates drought and most soils. An all purpose plant for flowers, grains, greens, dyes.
Used by the Hopi Indians as a ceremonial food dye to produce red cornbread.
As with all Grain Amaranths; young plants and young leaves make nutritious steamed greens. The immature flower bracts can be used as a flower dye and the edible black seeds can be ground to make a high protein, gluten-free flour.
Sow 8-10 seeds per foot. Plant before last frost or begin indoors, transplanting when growth has reached 4-8 inches. Full sun.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Madison, Alabama Fresno, California Richmond, California Santa Clara, California Denver, Colorado Bridgeport, Connecticut Valdosta, Georgia Itasca, Illinois St Paul, Minnesota Sidney, Nebraska Caldwell, New Jersey Binghamton, New York Toledo, Ohio Portland, Oregon Sweet Home, Oregon Anton, Texas Austin, Texas Manassas, Virginia (2 reports) Buckley, Washington Kalama, Washington North Bend, Washington Spokane, Washington