Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) gets its common name from its tiny blood red petal-less flowers that bloom in narrow, drooping, tassel-like, terminal and axillary panicles that can reach up to 90 cm in length. The panicles grow from lateral buds and from the main stem. The red flowers look striking against the backdrop of the plant’s green leaves. Just like other varieties of Amaranth, the leaves are edible and the seeds used as a pseudo-grain.
Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth Culinary Uses
Amaranth was an important food crop for the Aztecs and Incas. It is also used as a food crop by many people in South Africa.
- The seeds and the young leaves are edible.
- The youngest leaves are good to use in salads.
- The mature leaves are better cooked like spinach.
- The leaves can also be sauteed with chilies and spices.
- Anything you would use spinach for, just use amaranth leaves exactly the same way.
- The iron and calcium rich seeds can be dried and then cooked and eaten as you would oatmeal or porridge, or ground into a flour.
Growing Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth
- Direct sow Amaranth seeds into prepared seed beds after all danger of frost in groups of 4 seeds spaced 18-24 inches apart.
- Thin to the strongest plant.
- Or, scatter seed over ground that has had the top 1 inch of soil loosened. Rake seed in lightly, walk over area to firm soil.
- Keep moist until germination. Amaranthus seed is easy to germinate provided the soil is warm.
- Seed can also be started indoors in cell packs or containers.
- Kept at 18 – 21 Celsius , germination is in 10-21 days.
- Grow in full or part sun.
- Plants tolerate high heat, and will grow in any soil as long as drainage is good.
- Amaranthus will grow faster, produce more flowers with regular water, but will tolerate some drought once established.
- Seed heads attract birds.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.