The name Amaranth is Greek for unfading, referring to the flowers that last a long time. The latin names viridis and lividus refers to the stem colour either green or purple (plant to the left). There is another species called Amaranthus powellii which grows much taller up to 1 m high with red stems and longer flower heads. All three Amaranth species I’ve mentioned are also known as Redroot because they all have roots distinctly red roots. Although considered weeds peoples around the world value and use amaranth as leafy vegetables, cereals, ornamentals.
They have densely clustered small green flowers that grow at the terminal or tip of the stem or in the axils of the leaves as seen in the plant to the left which has gone to flower. You can put the whole flower head in your smoothie and get the nutritional benefit of flowers, leaves and seeds.
Nutritional properties :
Compared to other grains amaranth seeds have a much higher content of the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron and the amino acid lysine. Amaranth seeds are also high in potassium, zinc, Vitamin B and E and protein.amaranth seed Amaranth leaves are loaded with nutrition. For example amaranth leaves contain three times more calcium and three times more niacin (Vitamin B3) than spinach leaves. (Or twenty times more calcium and seven times more iron than lettuce). Amaranth leaves are an excellent source of Vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoids, iron, calcium, protein, Vitamin C Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc,copper and manganese.