An ancient, annual, heat-loving grain native to the New world that has been re-discovered as an excellent food source. A member of one of the great weed species so will grow in almost any garden soil. Thrives in heat and full sun - in fact shows a high endurance for summer heat and drought. Best to keep watered though. Often grown as an ornamental - and if you do, do not enrich the soil as poor soil brings out the colors.
Both the leaves and the grain are high in protein and vitamins, though these varieties are optomized for leaf quality and productivity. High in protein, Amaranth provides essential amino acids missing in other grains, in particular it has a double dose of the essential amino acid lysine which is often missing in vegetarian diets.
Also known Chinese spinach. Leaves are eaten raw, boiled, steamed, or stir-fried. Used as a nutritious vegetable, in soups, stews, curries, fritatas, omlettes, pastas, sauces, etc. The Tampalas large leaves can be used as a wrap like grape leaves, and you can encourage general bushiness and leaf production on this variety by topping plants when they get about 6 inches high. The crisp interior of large stems are a fine cooked vegetable like asparagus.
Plant after all danger of frost is past in full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Start after your last frost date when soil is warm. Can be planted in succession and harvest when 10-14" tall, before flower. Loves heat and moisture.
Amaranthus tricolor / W,H/Matures 6/Harvest 4/Yield 68-272/Spacing 6"
Amaranth varieties are optomized for either leaf or grain (except our Golden Giant grain amaranth which does both well). We have other amaranths in both the Vegetables section and the Grains section..
Leaf Amaranth (code begins with VAM) -- The leaf varieties are optimized for leaf production. These are good both as pot herbs and in salads. You will still get grain but perhaps not as much as grain varieties.
Grain Amaranth (code begins with GAM) The grain varieties produce high yields of grain; while all amaranths make good pot herbs, these varieties may be too tough for salads. See our Grains Section for our grain amaranth varieties.