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Uses

Toxic parts

No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.

Edible uses

Notes

A red edible dye is obtained from the inflorescence, it is used in S. America for colouring ceremonial maize dishes[1].

Leaves - cooked[2]. Used as a potherb[1].

Seed - ground into a powder and used as a flour[2][1]. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated[K].

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[3].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Amaranthus quitensis.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm[4]. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination[4]. Cuttings of growing plants root easily[5].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Amaranthus quitensis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

We have very little information on this species and do not know how well it will grow in Britain, but it will probably succeed as a spring-sown annual. It is occasionally cultivated in S. America, mainly for the edible dye obtained from its inflorescence[1]. The plant is also of interest as a probable ancestor of A. caudatus, which is cultivated as a grain crop in S. America. This species could be of value in any breeding programmes. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.

Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position[6]. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well[K]. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity.

Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the 'C4 carbon-fixation pathway', this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions[7].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Amaranthus quitensis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Amaranthus quitensis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Amaranthus quitensis
Genus
Amaranthus
Family
Amaranthaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    x meters
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1. Thompson and Morgan. (1987-00-00)
    5. ? Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4781-4 (1991-00-00)
    6. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    7. ? Popenoe. H. et al Lost Crops of the Incas National Academy Press ISBN 0-309-04264-X (1990-00-00)
    8. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)