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.
Leaves - cooked as a spinach
. A mild flavour[K]. The leafy stems and flower clusters are similarly used
. On a zero moisture basis, 100g of leaves contains 283 calories, 34.2g protein, 5.3g fat, 44.1g carbohydrate, 6.6g fibre, 16.4g ash, 2243mg calcium, 500mg phosphorus, 27mg iron, 336mg sodium, 2910mg potassium, 50mg vitamin A, 0.07mg thiamine, 2.43mg riboflavin, 11.8mg niacin and 790mg ascorbic acid
Seed - cooked. Very small but easy to harvest and very nutritious. 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]. The seed contains 14 - 16% protein and 4.7 - 7% fat
Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant
A decoction of the entire plant is used to stop dysentery and inflammation
The plant is emollient and vermifuge.
The root juice is used to treat inflammation during urination
. It is also taken to treat constipation
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
. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination
Cuttings of growing plants root easily
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Amaranthus viridis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position
. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well[K].
Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity.
Cultivated as a food plant in the tropics.
Should this plant be called A. caudatus. L. 'Viridis'?
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
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Amaranthus viridis. 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 viridis.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.11.2 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
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? 6.06.16.26.36.46.5 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
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? 8.08.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
? 9.09.19.2 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
? 10.010.1 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1. Thompson and Morgan. (1987-00-00)
? Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4781-4 (1991-00-00)
? 12.012.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? Popenoe. H. et al Lost Crops of the Incas National Academy Press ISBN 0-309-04264-X (1990-00-00)
? Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)
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