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Amaranthus quitensis - Kunth.
                 
Common Name Ataco
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
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 An infrequent casual of waste ground in Britain, introduced with bird seed, soya-bean waste etc. It rarely, if ever, sets seed in Britain.
Range S. America - Andes. A rare casual in Europe.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Amaranthus quitensis Ataco


Amaranthus quitensis Ataco
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Amaranthus quitensis is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
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.
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.

Synonyms

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

A red edible dye is obtained from the inflorescence, it is used in S. America for colouring ceremonial maize dishes[183]. Leaves - cooked[177]. Used as a potherb[183]. Seed - ground into a powder and used as a flour[177, 183]. 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, but it will probably succeed as a spring-sown annual. It is occasionally cultivated in S. America, mainly for the edible dye obtained from its inflorescence[183]. The plant is also of interest as a probable ancestor of A. caudatus, which is cultivated as a grain crop in S. America. This species could be of value in any breeding programmes. 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].

Books by Plants For A Future

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.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Amaranthus albusProstrate 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 palmeriCareless Weed20
Amaranthus polygamus 21
Amaranthus polystachyus 20
Amaranthus powelliiPowell's Amaranth20
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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Kunth.
Botanical References
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Subject : Amaranthus quitensis  

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