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Amaranthus viridis - L.
                 
Common Name Calalu, Slender amaranth
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness 7-11
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 A weed of waste ground and roadsides but the original habitat is obscure[144].
Range Tropical N. America? Original habitat is obscure.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
An excellent substitute for spinach. Leaves, the leafy stems and flower clusters are cooked and have a mild flavour. The seed is cooked whole. Common names include: African spinach; callaloo; green amaranth; rough pigweed; wild amaranth. Spanish: bledo blanco (Argentina); bledo manso (Colombia); bledo verde (Colombia); caruru (Argentina); chichimeca (Argentina); citaco (Argentina). French: amarante verte.

Amaranthus viridis Calalu, Slender amaranth


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Amaranthus_viridis_Blanco2.262.png
Amaranthus viridis Calalu, Slender amaranth
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Tau?olunga
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Amaranthus viridis is a ANNUAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. 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
A. gracilis.

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

Leaves - cooked as a spinach[46, 61, 144, 177, 183]. A mild flavour[K]. The leafy stems and flower clusters are similarly used[183]. On a zero moisture basis, 100g of leaves contains 283 calories, 34.2g protein, 5.3g fat, 44.1g carbohydrate, 6.6g fibre, 16.4g ash, 2243mg calcium, 500mg phosphorus, 27mg iron, 336mg sodium, 2910mg potassium, 50mg vitamin A, 0.07mg thiamine, 2.43mg riboflavin, 11.8mg niacin and 790mg ascorbic acid[218]. Seed - cooked. Very small, about 1mm in diameter[266], but it is easy to harvest and very nutritious[K]. 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]. The seed contains 14 - 16% protein and 4.7 - 7% fat[218]. The nutty edible seeds can be eaten as snacks or used in biscuits. A porridge can be made by boiling the seeds in water. In northeastern Indian it is known as Cheng-kruk and eaten traditionally as a vegetable. In South India it is known as Kuppacheera. It is also a common vegetable in Bengali cuisine and is called "note shak.
Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
  • 283 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 34.2g; Fat: 5.3g; Carbohydrate: 44.1g; Fibre: 6.6g; Ash: 16.4g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 2243mg; Phosphorus: 500mg; Iron: 27mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 336mg; Potassium: 2910mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 50mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.07mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.43mg; Niacin: 11.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 790mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:
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.

Astringent;  Vermifuge.

A decoction of the entire plant is used to stop dysentery and inflammation[218]. The plant is emollient and vermifuge[218, 240]. The root juice is used to treat inflammation during urination[272]. It is also taken to treat constipation[272].
Other Uses
Dye.

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[168].
Cultivation details
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. Cultivated as a food plant in the tropics[46]. Should this plant be called A. caudatus. L. 'Viridis'[200]? 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.

A very common weed that can be a serious in virtually any crop. Found in all warm regions of the world and one of the most common weeds in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate regions.
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern.
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 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
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Subject : Amaranthus viridis  

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