Amaranthus tricolor

Botanical Name : Amaranthus tricolor
Family:    Amaranthaceae
Genus:    Amaranthus
Species:A. tricolor
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:   Caryophyllales

Synonyms: A. gangeticus. L. A. melanocholicus.

Common Names: Tandaljo or Tandalja bhaji  (In India),callaloo in the Caribbean and Joseph’s coat after the Biblical figure Joseph. It is commonly known as Lal sak  or ranga sak in Bengal.

Common Names in Chinese: Hong Xian (Taiwan), Xian
Common Names in Danish: Papegøjeamarant
Common Names in English:Chinese Spinach, Chinese Amaranth, Chinese-Spinach, Early Splendor Amaranthus, Een Choy, Joseph´s Coat, Joseph´s-Coat, Joseph’s Coat, Joseph’s-Coat, Josephs Coat, Summer Poinsettia, Summer-Poinsettia, Tampala, Vegetable amaranth
Common Names in French:Amarante Comestible, Amarante De Gange, Amarante Du Gange, Amarante Tricolore, Pariétaire Noire, Pariétaire Sauvage
Common Names in German:Chinesischer Salat, Dreifarbiger Fuchsschwanz, Gemüseamarant, Surinamesischer Fuchsschwanz
Common Names in Hindi:Chaulaai (Chaulai), Chauli, Chavleri, Lal Bhaji, Lal Sag, Rajgeera, Rajgira, Rajkiri
Common Names in Indonesian:Aupa
Common Names in Japanese:Ha Geitou ganraikou, Hageito, Hiyu
Common Names in Portuguese:Amarantos, Amarantos a Folhas, Carurú, Espinafre Africano
Common Names in Russian:Amarant Trekhtsvetnyi, shiritsa Trekhtsvetnaia
Common Names in Sinhalese:Tampala
Common Names in Spanish:Amaranto, Moco De Pavo
Common Names in Swedish:Papegojamarant
Common Names in Tamil:Cerikkirai, Cirukirai, Thandukkeerai
Common Names in Thai:Phak Khom Suan

Habitat : Amaranthus tricolor is native to South America, many varieties of amaranth can be found across the world in a myriad of different climates due to it being a C4 carbon fixation plant, which allows it to convert carbon dioxide into biomass at an extremely efficient rate when compared to other plants. Cultivars have striking yellow, red and green foliage.

Description:
Amaranthus tricolor is a annual flowering plant, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate. Form: Pyramidal, Upright or erect.
It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. Bloom Color is Red.The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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Cultivation:  
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Specimen. Prefers a light well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position, though it does succeed in heavier soils. Tolerates fairly acid soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 7.8. This is basically a tropical plant and so requires a hot sheltered position in temperate climates if it is to do well. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. A polymorphic species, it is often cultivated for its edible leaves, there are many named varieties. This species is often cultivated in Asia for its edible leaves and seed. It is a very ornamental plant and is often grown in the flower garden. 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. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

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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. A minimum soil temperature of 10°c is required for germination, germination is better at temperatures above 20°c. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easil

Edible Uses:
The leaves may be eaten as a salad vegetable as well as the stems. In Africa, it is usually cooked as a leafy vegetable. It is usually steamed as a side dish in both China and Japan.

It appears on the coat of arms of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where it is called “flowers gentle”.

Chemical constituents: Leaves (Dry weight)
*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 0g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 2441mg; Phosphorus: 1008mg; Iron: 51mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 34mg; Potassium: 4475mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 37623mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.68mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.37mg; Niacin: 11.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 730mg;

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is astringent. A decoction of the root is used with Cucurbita moschata to control haemorrhage following abortion. A decoction of very old plants is taken internally to improve vision and strengthen the liver.

Other Uses: Dye.
Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.

Known Hazards:    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.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/A/Amaranthus_tricolor/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranthus_tricolor
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amaranthus+tricolor

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