Amaranth 1542 225836371 2008-07-15T16:58:56Z /* Nutritional value */ {{otheruses}} {{Taxobox | name = ''Amaranthus'' | image = Amaranthus tricolor0.jpg | image_width = 250px | image_caption = ''Amaranthus caudatus'' | regnum = [[Plant]]ae | divisio = [[Flowering plant|Magnoliophyta]] | classis = [[Magnoliopsida]] | ordo = [[Caryophyllales]] | familia = [[Amaranthaceae]] | subfamilia = [[Amaranthoideae]] | genus = '''''Amaranthus''''' | genus_authority = [[Carolus Linnaeus|L.]] | subdivision_ranks = Species | subdivision = * ''[[Amaranthus acanthochiton]]'' greenstripe * ''[[Amaranthus acutilobius]]'' sharp-lobe amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus albus]]'' white pigweed, prostrate pigweed, pigweed amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus arenicola]]'' sandhill amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus australis]]'' southern amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus bigelovii]]'' Bigelow's amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus blitoides]]'' mat amaranth, prostrate amaranth, prostrate pigweed * ''[[Amaranthus blitum]]'' purple amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus brownii]]'' Brown's amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus californicus]]'' California amaranth, California pigweed * ''[[Amaranthus cannabinus]]'' tidal-marsh amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus caudatus]]'' love-lies-bleeding, pendant amaranth, tassel flower, quilete * ''[[Amaranthus chihuahuensis]]'' chihuahuan amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus chlorostachys]]'' * ''[[Amaranthus crassipes]]'' spreading amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus crispus]]'' crispleaf amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus cruentus]]'' purple amaranth, red amaranth, Mexican grain amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus deflexus]]'' large-fruit amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus dubius]]'' spleen amaranth, khada sag * ''[[Amaranthus fimbriatus]]'' fringed amaranth, fringed pigweed * ''[[Amaranthus floridanus]]'' Florida amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus gangeticus]]'' elephant head amaranth *'' [[Amaranthus graecizans]]'' * ''[[Amaranthus greggii]]'' Gregg's amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus hybridus]]'' smooth amaranth, smooth pigweed, red amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus hypochondriacus]]'' Prince-of-Wales-feather, princess feather * ''[[Amaranthus leucocarpus]]'' * ''[[Amaranthus lineatus]]'' Australian amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus lividus]]'' * ''[[Amaranthus mantegazzianus]]'' Quinoa de Castilla * ''[[Amaranthus minimus]]'' * ''[[Amaranthus muricatus]]'' African amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus obcordatus]]'' Trans-Pecos amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus oleraceous]]'' Kosala Sag * ''[[Amaranthus palmeri]]'' Palmer's amaranth, palmer pigweed, careless weed * ''[[Amaranthus paniculus]]'' Reuzen amarant * ''[[Amaranthus polygonoides]]'' tropical amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus powelii]]'' green amaranth, Powell amaranth, Powell pigweed * ''[[Amaranthus pringlei]]'' Pringle's amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus pumilus]]'' seaside amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus quitensis]]'' ataco, sangorache * ''[[Amaranthus retroflexus]]'' red-root amaranth, redroot pigweed, common amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus rudis]]'' tall amaranth, common waterhemp * ''[[Amaranthus scleropoides]]'' bone-bract amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus spinosus]]'' spiny amaranth, prickly amaranth, thorny amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus standleyanus]]'' * ''[[Amaranthus thunbergii]]'' Thunberg's amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus torreyi]]'' Torrey's amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus tricolor]]'' Joseph's-coat * ''[[Amaranthus tuberculatus]]'' rough-fruit amaranth, tall waterhemp * ''[[Amaranthus viridis]]'' slender amaranth, green amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus watsonii]]'' Watson's amaranth * ''[[Amaranthus wrightii]]'' Wright's amaranth }}'''''Amaranthus''''', collectively known as '''amaranth''' or '''pigweed''', is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs. Approximately 60 species are presently recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to gold. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses with members of the closely related genus ''[[Celosia]]''. Although several species are often considered [[weed]]s, people around the world value amaranths as [[leaf vegetable]]s, [[cereal]]s and [[ornamental plant|ornamentals]]. The word comes from the [[Greek language|Greek]] [ ''amarantos''] (Αμάρανθος or Αμάραντος) the "one that does not wither," or the never-fading (flower). ==Systematics== ''Amaranthus'' shows a wide variety of morphological diversity among and even within certain species. Although the family ([[Amaranthaceae]]) is distinctive, the [[genus]] has few distinguishing characters among the 70 species included.<ref name="multiple"> Juan et al (2007). Electrophoretic characterization of ''Amaranthus'' L. seed proteins and its systematic implication. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 155: 57-63. </ref> This complicates [[taxonomy]] and ''Amaranthus'' has generally been considered among systematists as a “difficult” genus.<ref name = "Costea"> Costea, M &amp; D. DeMason (2001). Stem morphology and anatomy in Amaranthus L. (Amaranthaceae)- Taxonomic significance. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 128(3): 254-281. </ref> Formerly, Sauer (1955) classified the genus into 2 sub-genera, differentiating only between monoecious and dioecious species: ''Acnida'' (L.) Aellen ex K.R. Robertson and ''Amaranthus''. <ref name="Costea" /> Although this classification was widely accepted, further infrageneric classification was (and still is) needed to differentiate this widely diverse group. Currently, ''Amaranthus'' includes 3 recognized sub-genera and 70 species, although species numbers are questionable due to [[hybridization]] and species concepts.<ref>Judd et al (2008). Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach, Third Edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc. Sunderland, MA </ref> Infrageneric classification focuses on inflorescence, flower characters and whether a species is monoecious/dioecious, as in the Sauer (1955) suggested classification.<ref name="multiple" /> A modified infrageneric classification of ''Amaranthus'' was published by Mosyakin & Robertson (1996) and includes 3 subgenera: ''Acnida'', ''Amaranthus'' and ''Albersia''. The taxonomy is further differentiated by sections within each of the sub-genera.<ref>Mosyakin & Robertson (1996). New infrageneric taxa and combinations in ''Amaranthus'' (Amaranthaceae). Ann. Bot. Fennici 33: 275-281. </ref> In some cultures it was known as a mythical flower that never fades. ==Uses== ===Grain amaranth=== A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.<ref> " " </ref> Several species are raised for '''[[amaranth grain]]''' in [[Asia]] and the [[Americas]]. Ancient amaranth grains still used to this day include the 3 species, ''[[Amaranthus caudatus]]'', ''[[Amaranthus cruentus]]'', and ''[[Amaranthus hypochondriacus]]''.<ref>Costea et al (2006). Delimitation of Amaranthus cruentus L. and Amaranthus caudatus L. using micromorphology and AFLP analysis: an application in germplasm identification. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 53: 1625-1633. </ref> Although amaranth was (and still is) cultivated on a small-scale in parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, India, and Nepal, there is potential for further cultivation in the U.S and tropical countries and is often referred to as "the crop of the future."<ref>Marx (1977). Speaking of Science: Amaranth: A Comeback for the Food of the Aztecs? Science 198(4312): 40. </ref> It has been proposed as an inexpensive native crop that could be cultivated by indigenous people in rural areas for several reasons: 1) easily harvested, 2) produces a lot of fruits (and thus seeds) which are used as grain, 3) highly tolerant of arid environments which are typical of most subtropical and some tropical regions, and 4) large amounts of protein and essential amino acids, such as [[lysine]].<ref> De Macvean &amp; Pöll (1997). Chapter 8: Ethnobotany. Tropical Tree Seed Manual, USDA Forest Service, edt. J.A Vozzo. </ref> Due to its weedy life history, amaranth grains grow very rapidly and their large seedheads can weigh up to 1 kilogram and contain a half-million seeds.<ref name = "Tucker"> Tucker, J. (1986). Amaranth: the once and future crop. Bioscience 36(1): 9-13.</ref> ''Amaranthus'' species are reported to have a 30% higher protein value than other cereals, such as rice, wheat flour, oats and rye.<ref> De Macvean& Pöll. (1997). Chapter 8: Ethnobotany. Tropical Tree Seed Manual, USDA Forest Service, edt. J.A Vozzo. </ref> Amaranth grain is a crop of moderate importance in the [[Himalaya]]. It was one of the staple foodstuffs of the [[Inca]]s, and it is known as '''kiwicha''' in the [[Andes]] today. It was also used by the ancient [[Aztec]]s, who called it '''huautli''', and other Native America peoples in [[Mexico]] to prepare ritual drinks and foods. To this day, amaranth grains are toasted much like [[popcorn]] and mixed with [[honey]] or [[molasses]] to make a treat called ''alegría'' (literally "joy" in Spanish). Amaranth was used in several Aztec ceremonies, where images of their gods (notably [[Huitzilopochtli]]) were made with amaranth mixed with honey. The images were cut to be eaten by the people. This looked like the [[Christian]] [[eucharist|communion]] to the [[Roman Catholic]] priests, so the cultivation of the grain was forbidden for centuries. Because of its importance as a symbol of indigenous culture, and because it is very palatable, easy to cook, and its protein particularly well suited to human nutritional needs, interest in grain amaranth (especially A. cruentus and A. hypochondriacus) was revived in the 1970s. It was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties and is now commercially cultivated. It is a popular snack sold in [[Mexico City]] and other parts of Mexico, sometimes mixed with [[chocolate]] or [[puffed grain|puffed rice]], and its use has spread to [[Europe]] and other parts of [[North America]]. Amaranth and [[quinoa]] are called pseudograins because of their flavor and cooking similarities to grains. These are dicot plant seeds, and both contain exceptionally [[complete protein]] for plant sources. Besides [[protein]], [[amaranth grain]] provides a good source of [[dietary fiber]] and [[dietary mineral]]s such as [[iron]], [[magnesium]], [[phosphorus]], [[copper]], and especially [[manganese]]. ===Vegetables=== Amaranth species are cultivated and consumed as a leaf vegetable in many parts of the world. There are 4 species of ''Amaranthus'' documented as cultivated vegetables in eastern Asia: ''[[Amaranthus cruentus]]'', ''Amaranthus blitum, Amaranthus dubius'', and ''Amaranthus tricolor''.<ref> Costea (2003). Notes on Economic Plants. Economic Botany 57(4): 646-649 </ref> In [[Indonesia]] and [[Malaysia]], leaf amaranth is called ''bayam'', while the [[Tagalogs]] in the [[Philippines]] call the plant ''kulitis''. In [[Andhra Pradesh]], [[India]], this leaf is added in preparation of a popular [[dal]] called ''thotakura pappu''. In [[China]], the leaves and stems are used as a stir-fry vegetable and called ''yin choi'' (苋菜; pinyin: xiàncài; and variations on this transliteration in various dialects). In [[Vietnam]], it is called ''rau dền'' and is used to make soup. There are two species popular as edible vegetable in Vietnam: ''dền đỏ''- amaranthus tricolor and ''dền cơm'' or ''dền trắng''- amaranthus viridis. In Congo it is known as ''lenga lenga'' or ''biteku teku''.<ref>{{cite journal | author=Enama, M. | date=1994 | title=Culture: The missing nexus in ecological economics perspective | journal=Ecological Economics | issue=10 | pages=93–95 }}</ref> In the [[Caribbean]] the leaves are called [[callaloo]] and are sometimes used in a soup called pepperpot soup. In East Africa Amaranth leaf is known in [[Swahili]] as ''mchicha'' ("a vegetable for all"). It is sometimes recommended by some doctors for people having low red blood cell count. In West Africa, Nigeria, it is known in [[Yoruba]] as ''efo tete'' or ''arowo jeja'' ("we have money left over for fish"). It is a common vegetable, and it goes with all Nigerian carbohydrate dishes. ===Dyes=== The flowers of the 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth were used by the [[Hopi]] [[Native Americans in the United States|Amerindians]] as the source of a deep red dye. There is also a synthetic dye that has been named "amaranth" for its similarity in color to the natural amaranth [[pigment]]s known as [[betalain]]s. This synthetic dye is also known as [[Red No. 2]] in North America and E123 in the [[European Union]].<ref>"The following color additives are not authorized for use in food products in the United States: (1) Amaranth (C.I. 16185, EEC No. E123, formerly certifiable as FD&C red No. 2);" [ FDA/CFSAN Food Compliance Program: Domestic Food Safety Program]</ref> ===Ornamentals=== The genus also contains several well-known ornamental plants, such as ''A. caudatus'' (love-lies-bleeding), a native of [[India]] and a vigorous, hardy annual with dark purplish [[flower]]s crowded in handsome drooping spikes. Another Indian annual, ''A. hypochondriacus'' (prince's feather), has deeply-veined lance-shaped leaves, purple on the under face, and deep crimson flowers densely packed on erect spikes. Amaranths are recorded as food plants for some [[Lepidoptera]] ([[butterfly]] and [[moth]]) species including the [[Nutmeg (moth)|Nutmeg]] and various case-bearers of the genus ''[[Coleophora]]'': ''C. amaranthella'', ''C. enchorda'' (feeds exclusively on ''Amaranthus''), ''C. immortalis'' (feeds exclusively on ''Amaranthus''), ''C. lineapulvella'' and ''C. versurella'' (recorded on ''A. spinosus''). ==Nutritional value== '''Amaranth greens''', also called '''Chinese spinach''', '''hinn choy''' or '''yin tsoi''' ({{zh-stp|s=苋菜|t=莧菜|p=xiàncài}}), '''callaloo''', '''thotakura''' ([[Telugu language|telugu]]) , '''tampala''', or '''quelite''', are a common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. It is very popular in [[Andhra Pradesh]]. They are a very good source of [[vitamin]]s including [[vitamin A]], [[vitamin B6]], [[vitamin C]], [[riboflavin]], and [[folate]], and dietary minerals including [[calcium]], [[iron]], [[magnesium]], [[phosphorus]], [[potassium]], [[zinc]], [[copper]], and [[manganese]]. Because of its valuable nutrition, some farmers grow amaranth today. However their moderately high content of [[oxalic acid]] inhibits the absorption of calcium and zinc, and also means that they should be avoided or eaten in moderation by people with [[kidney]] disorders, [[gout]], or [[rheumatoid arthritis]].{{Fact|date=February 2007}} Reheating cooked amaranth greens is often discouraged, particularly for consumption by small children, as the [[nitrate]]s in the leaves can be converted to [[nitrite]]s, similarly to [[spinach]].{{Fact|date=February 2007}} Amaranth seeds, like [[buckwheat]] and [[quinoa]], contain protein that is unusually complete for plant sources.{{Fact|date=July 2008}}<ref>[]</ref> Most fruits and vegetables do not contain a complete set of amino acids, and thus different sources of protein must be used. Several studies have shown that like oats, amaranth seed or oil may be of benefit for those with hypertension and cardiovascular disease; regular consumption reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while improving antioxidant status and some immune parameters.<ref> [ PMID:15542354]</ref><ref> [ PMID:17313043]</ref><ref>[ PMID:17207282]</ref> While the active ingredient in oats appears to be water soluble fiber, amaranth appears to lower cholesterol via its content of plant stanols and [[squalene]]. ==Amaranth as a weed== Not all amaranth plants are cultivated. Most of the species from ''Amaranthus'' are summer annual weeds and are commonly referred to as pigweeds.<ref name = “Bensch”> Bensch et al (2003). Interference of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), Palmer amaranth (A. palmeri), and common waterhemp (A. rudis) in soybean. Weed Science 51: 37-43. </ref> These species have an extended period of germination, rapid growth, and high rates of seed production<ref name = “Bensch”/> and have been causing farmers problems since the mid-1990’s. This is partially due to the reduction in tillage, reduction in herbicidal use and the evolution of herbicidal resistance in several species where herbicides have been applied more often.<ref> Wetzel et al (1999). Use of PCR-based molecular markers to identify weedy Amaranthus species. Weed Science 47: 518-523. </ref> The following 9 species of ''Amaranthus'' are considered invasive and noxious weeds in the U.S and Canada: ''A. albus'', ''A. blitoides'', ''A. hybridus'', ''A. palmeri'', ''A. powellii'', ''A. retroflexus'', ''A. spinosus'', ''A. tuberculatus'', and ''A. viridis''.<ref> USDA Plant Database. Plants Profile- ''Amaranthus'' L. [] </ref> A new strain of the Palmer amaranth has appeared which is [[Glyphosate]]-resistant and as a result cannot be killed by the widely used [[Roundup]] herbicide. Also, this hardy plant can survive in tough conditions. This could be of particular concern to [[cotton]] farmers using [[Roundup Ready]] cotton.<ref></ref> The species, ''Amaranthus palmeri'' (Palmer amaranth), causes the greatest reduction in soybean yields and has the potential to reduce yields by 17-68% in field experiments.<ref name = “Bensch”/> Palmer amaranth is among the “top five most troublesome weeds” in the southeast and has already evolved resistances to dinitroanilines and acetolactate synthase inhibitors.<ref> Culpepper et al (2006). Glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) confirmed in Georgia. Weed Science 54: 620-626. </ref> This makes the proper identification of ''Amaranthus'' species at the seedling stage essential for agriculturalists. Proper herbicide treatment needs to be applied before the species successfully colonizes in the crop field and causes significant yield reductions. Anecdotal reports indicate that some people are allergic to amaranth.{{Fact|date=January 2008}} ==Myth, legend and poetry== '''Amaranth''', or Amarant (from the [[Greek language|Greek]] ''amarantos'', unwithering), a name chiefly used in poetry, and applied to Amaranth and other plants which, from not soon fading, typified immortality. [[Aesop's Fables]] (6th century BC) compares the Rose to the Amaranth to illustrate the difference in fleeting and everlasting beauty. <blockquote> :A Rose and an Amaranth blossomed side by side in a garden, :and the Amaranth said to her neighbour, :"How I envy you your beauty and your sweet scent! :No wonder you are such a universal favourite." :But the Rose replied with a shade of sadness in her voice, :"Ah, my dear friend, I bloom but for a time: :my petals soon wither and fall, and then I die. :But your flowers never fade, even if they are cut; :for they are everlasting." </blockquote> Thus, in [[John Milton|John Milton's]] [[Paradise Lost]] (1667), iii. 353: <blockquote> :"Immortal amarant, a flower which once :In paradise, fast by the tree of life, :Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence :To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows, :And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life, :And where the river of bliss through midst of heaven :Rolls o'er elysian flowers her amber stream: :With these that never fade the spirits elect :Bind their resplendent locks." </blockquote> [[Samuel Taylor Coleridge]], in [[Work without Hope]] (1825), also references the herb, likely referencing Milton's earlier work. (ll 7-10 excerpted): <blockquote> :Yet well I ken the banks where Amaranths blow, :Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow. :Bloom, O ye Amaranths! bloom for whom ye may, :For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away! </blockquote> The original spelling is ''amarant''; the more common spelling ''amaranth'' seems to have come from a [[folk etymology]] assuming that the final syllable derives from the Greek word ''anthos'' ("flower"), common in botanical names. In ancient [[Greece]] the amaranth (also called [[chrysanthemum]] and [[helichrysum]]) was sacred to Ephesian [[Artemis]]. It was supposed to have special healing properties, and as a symbol of immortality was used to decorate images of the gods and tombs. In legend, [[Amarynthus]] (a form of Amarantus) was a hunter of Artemis and king of [[Euboea]]; in a village of Amarynthus, of which he was the eponymous hero, there was a famous temple of Artemis Amarynthia or Amarysia (Strabo x. 448; Pausan. i. 31, p. 5). It was also widely used by the Chinese for its healing chemicals, curing illnesses such as infections, rashes, and migraines. The ''"Amarantos"'' is the name of a several-century-old popular Greek folk song: <blockquote> :Look at the amaranth: :on tall mountains it grows, :on the very stones and rocks :and places inaccessible. </blockquote> Orson Scott Card's novel [[Speaker for the Dead]] features a plant called amaranth native to the planet Lusitania, where the majority of the story takes place. In [[Vampire: The Masquerade]] lore, an amaranth placed on the bed of a vampire was the warning of [[Diablerie]] soon to come. The act of Diablerie was also referred to as "Amaranth". [[Enya]] is referring to the everlasting amaranth in her song [[Amarantine]]. ==See also== *[[Amaranth (color)]] *[[Amaranth (song)]] <!--When adding information about amaranth in contemporary culture, please add it under the Amaranth in Human Culture section of the Amaranth (color) article--> ==Images== <gallery> Image:Amaranthus caudatus1.jpg|Loves-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) Image:Amaranthus.hybridus1web.jpg|Green Amaranth (''A. hybridus'') Image:Amaranth2.jpg|Seabeach amaranth (''A. pumilus''), an amaranth on the Federal [[Threatened species]] List Image:Illustration Amaranthus retroflexus0.jpg|Red-root Amaranth (''A. retroflexus'') - from Thomé, ''Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz'' 1885 Image:Amaranthus.spinosus1web.jpg|Spiny Amaranth (''Amaranthus spinosus'') Image:Amaranthus.viridis1web.jpg|Green Amaranth (''Amaranthus viridis'') Image:Amaranth_sp_2.jpg| Popping Amaranth (Amaranthus sp.) </gallery> ==Notes== {{reflist}} ==Sources== *Lenz, ''Botanik der alt. Greich. und Rom.'' Botany of old. (1859) *J. Murr, ''Die Pflanzenwelt in der griech. Mythol.'' Plants in Greek Mythology. (1890) ==External links== {{Commonscat|Amaranthus}} ===Images=== *[ Amaranthus hybridus] *[ Amaranthus spinosus] *[ Amaranthus viridis] ===Information=== {{unimelb|Amaranthus.html}} *[ Flora online : Flora of North America] *[ Amaranthus Info] *[ Alternate Field Crops Manual] *[ Dye Studies] *[ Organization Promoting Amaranth in Mexico] *[ Evaluation of Six Amaranth Varieties] *[ Lost Crops of Africa: Vegetables] {{Cereals}} [[Category:Amaranthus| ]] [[Category:Grains]] [[Category:Leaf vegetables]] [[Category:Tropical agriculture]] [[Category:Underutilized crops]] [[Category:Vietnamese cuisine]] [[ca:Amarant]] [[cs:Laskavec]] [[de:Amarant (Pflanzengattung)]] [[es:Amaranthus]] [[eo:Amaranto]] [[eu:Amaranto]] [[fr:Amarante (plante)]] [[hsb:Šćěrjenc]] [[hr:Rumenika]] [[id:Bayam]] [[it:Amaranto (alimento)]] [[lt:Burnotis]] [[ln:Bítɛkutɛku]] [[hu:Amaránt]] [[ms:Pokok Bayam]] [[nah:Huauhtli]] [[nl:Amarant (geslacht)]] [[pl:Szarłat]] [[pt:Amaranto]] [[fi:Revonhännät]] [[sv:Amaranter]] [[te:తోటకూర]] [[vi:Chi Dền]] [[zh:莧菜]]