This plant is found in Africa, India and South America, and probably originates in the Andes of South America.
In the U.S., Amaranth is grown for food as well as for its showy cultivars. It was a staple grain for
the Incas and Aztecs. Bushes are up to five feet tall and 1½-2½′ (45-76 cm) wide. Many species of
Amaranth are common weeds, such as pigweed.
Identification: The brilliant tassels of the cultivars reach lengths of two
feet. They are richly colored, usually red, purple, or white, sometimes green, silvery green, or yellow; and velvety in texture. Although they are a popular as landscaping plants,
they rarely escape into the wild.
Edibility: The tender young leaves are edible, and the seeds are
eaten raw or milled into flour. Amaranthus is increasingly popular in the U.S. as a healthy food source.