Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Vegetables

Amaranths: Ancient and Modern (page 3 of 5)

by David Cavagnaro

Vegetable Amaranths

Varieties of A. tricolor, the so-called edible or vegetable amaranths, have been used for their leafy greens in Asia for centuries. Leaves of these heat-tolerant varieties make a nice summer substitute for cool-weather greens like spinach, and are tender enough for use raw in salads.

The first vegetable variety to become widely available in America was 'Hinn Choy', also known as tampala or Chinese spinach. Recent introductions include 'Green Leaf', 'Hijau', 'Red Leaf',and 'Merah', also called coleus-leaf amaranth. 'Merah' and 'Red Leaf' have large, crinkly green leaves with vivid purple veins. Less than 3 feet in height, these plants make colorful additions to any edible landscape.

The A. tricolor (also listed as A. gangeticus) 'Molten Fire' produces large scarlet and green leaves and a dark red seedhead but at 4 feet in height is best placed at the back of the garden.

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