Amaranth is Amazing
Did you know that there are about 600,000 seeds in a pound of Amaranth? I got that tidbit from a blogger who calls himself Thoreau. He talks about Amaranth as a grain and features beautiful photos of the lovely but invasive seedpods of this edible plant is this essay called Survival Gardening: Growing Grain Amaranth:
I grow mine hydroponically. This helps contain what otherwise might escape to become a weed, while allowing me to have a fast growing, edible, and attractive houseplant that seeds itself. There are many varieties of amaranth and some are tastier than others. My favorite is available in seed online at EvergreenSeeds as item number 41501. Of course it is heritage seed so I can let a few of the plants bolt early and collect viable seeds to restart. A faster way of reproducing the plants, however, is by cloning, that is putting leaf cuttings in water to root and make new plants. I plan to write more articles here explaining in detail different easy ways to propagate plants such as these from seed and from cuttings.
My second photo shows details of different parts of the amazing amaranth plant. The white arrow top left points to the pockets that form when the plant starts to bolt, that is to stop making leaves and start making seeds. Bottom left you see how tiny these seeds are. When the seeds are first starting to form, the pods are still green, but very soon shiny black seeds will start to pop out into the air, where they can travel quite far in search of a place to take root. After while the seed pods turn orange and then red.
All parts of the amaranth plant are edible, except by those people who are chronically dehydraded and/or have been told by a physician to avoid foods such as kale, spinach or almonds, which also contain oxalic acid.
Image Credit » I took this photo of a very healthy young amaranth plant growing indoors in an Aerogarden planter.