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Amaranthus palmeri - S.Watson.                
                 
Common Name Careless Weed
Family Amaranthaceae
Synonyms
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  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Amaranthus palmeri is a ANNUAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft).
It 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.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


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.

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.
   
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].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
S.Watson.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
71
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[71]Munz. A California Flora.
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
[85]Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
[95]Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada.
Useful wild plants of America. A pocket guide.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[133]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[161]Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
[168]Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
[196]Popenoe. H. et al Lost Crops of the Incas
An excellent book. Very readable, with lots of information and good pictures of some lesser known food plants of S. America.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[206]Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables
Well written and very informative.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

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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