Medicinal uses(Warning!)There are no medicinal uses listed for Chenopodium quinoa.
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Plants tolerate light frosts at any stage in their development except when flowering. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is commonly cultivated as a grain crop in Chile and Peru. This plant is receiving considerable attention world-wide as a trouble-free easily grown seed crop for warm temperate and tropical zones. It has the potential to outcrop cereals on light land in Britain. There are a great many named varieties. The plant is day-length sensitive and many varieties fail to flower properly away from equatorial regions, however those varieties coming from the south of its range in Chile are more likely to do well in Britain. Different cultivars take from 90 - 220 days from seed sowing to harvest. Yields as high as 5 tonnes per hectare have been recorded in the Andes, which compares favourably with wheat in that area. Young plants look remarkably like the common garden weed fat hen (Chenopodium album). Be careful not to weed the seedlings out in error[K].The seed is not attacked by birds because it has a coating of bitter tasting saponins[141, K]. These saponins are very easily removed by soaking the seed overnight and then thoroughly rinsing it until there is no sign of any soapiness in the water. The seed itself is very easy to harvest by hand on a small scale and is usually ripe in August. Cut down the plants when the first ripe seeds are falling easily from the flower head, lay out the stems on a sheet in a warm dry position for a few days and then simply beat the stems against a wall or some other surface, the seed will fall out easily if it is fully ripe and then merely requires winnowing to get rid of the chaff.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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