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Amaranthus palmeri - S.Watson.
                 
Common Name Careless Weed
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness 7-12
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.
Habitats Waste places and fields at low elevations, also in interior valleys and deserts in California[71].
Range South-western N. America
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
The leaves, stems and seeds of Palmer amaranth or carelessweed are edible and highly nutritious. The leaves are cooked as a spinach. The seed is also cooked and then used with cereal flours in porridge and breads. It is native to most of the southern half of North America. Common names, including carelessweed, dioecious amaranth, Palmer's amaranth, Palmer amaranth, and Palmer's pigweed.

Amaranthus palmeri Careless Weed


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pompilid
Amaranthus palmeri Careless Weed
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913.
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Amaranthus palmeri is a ANNUAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. 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.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - cooked as a spinach[46, 85, 95, 105, 161]. The leaves can also be dried for winter use[257]. Seed - cooked[46, 85, 95, 105, 161]. Very small but easy to harvest and very nutritious. It is usually ground into a powder and then used with cereal flours in making porridge, bread etc[257]. 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].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Dye.

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[168].
Cultivation details
We have very little information on this species and do not know how well it will grow in Britain, though it should succeed as a spring-sown annual. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. 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[196].
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[133]. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination[133]. Cuttings of growing plants root easily[206].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive.
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Amaranthus albusProstate Pigweed20
Amaranthus bidentata 21
Amaranthus blitoidesMat Amaranth20
Amaranthus blitumSlender Amaranth, Purple amaranth41
Amaranthus campestris 21
Amaranthus caudatusLove Lies Bleeding41
Amaranthus cruentusPurple Amaranth, Red amaranth40
Amaranthus diacanthus 20
Amaranthus dubiusSpleen Amaranth20
Amaranthus frumentaceus 20
Amaranthus graecizansSpreading Pigweed, Mediterranean amaranth20
Amaranthus hybridusRough Pigweed, Slim amaranth41
Amaranthus hypochondriacusPrince's Feather, Prince-of-wales feather43
Amaranthus mangostanus 20
Amaranthus mitchelliiBoggabri Weed20
Amaranthus pallidiflorus 20
Amaranthus polygamus 21
Amaranthus polystachyus 20
Amaranthus powelliiPowell's Amaranth20
Amaranthus quitensisAtaco20
Amaranthus retroflexusPigweed, Redroot amaranth, Wild Beet32
Amaranthus spinosusSpiny Amaranth23
Amaranthus standleyanusIndehiscent Pigweed20
Amaranthus tenuifolius 20
Amaranthus thunbergiiThunberg's Pigweed, Thunberg's amaranthus20
Amaranthus torreyiTorrey's amaranthus20
Amaranthus tricolorChinese Spinach, Joseph's-coat, Fountain Plant, Tampala , Summer Poinsettia31
Amaranthus viridisCalalu, Slender amaranth32
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Expert comment
 
Author
S.Watson.
Botanical References
71
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Larri Johnson Thu Sep 4 17:35:14 2003
I live in west Texas and we are being taken over with this weed. You cannot keep it out of our yards, it chokes everything planted. My question is how or what can I use to kill it. Please respond with any info. We cannot dig them as the soil is very hard and rocky here.
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Subject : Amaranthus palmeri  

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