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Amaranth: varieties and types with photos and descriptions

HomeGarden FlowersAmaranth: varieties and types with photos and descriptions

A cultivated plant called amaranth and its wild relative amaranth have been known to mankind for more than six thousand years. Amaranth was grown along with corn by the ancient Incas and Aztecs, who worshiped it as a deity, protected it, and used it in ritual sacrifices. After the arrival of the conquistadors, the widespread destruction of this “devil’s plant” began. It came to the territory of modern Europe in 1653 from Sweden.

In Russia, this culture was considered a source of longevity and even immortality; flour was made from the seeds of this plant and bread was baked. The agricultural reform carried out by Perth the First introduced a number of prohibitions, including the use of amaranth for food, and it became a purely decorative and fodder crop. Currently, this plant grows on almost all continents with the exception of only Antarctica. What varieties and types of amaranth exist and how to grow it correctly?

Amaranth fodder, vegetable, ornamental and black amaranth oil

Amaranth is an unpretentious plant that perfectly tolerates both high temperatures and thermometer readings close to zero. This plant is represented in the world flora by more than 60 species of various predominantly annual and herbaceous plants .

It is customary to distinguish between fodder, vegetable, grain and decorative amaranth, for example, tailed red amaranth, so when purchasing seeds, you must definitely check with the seller which variety he offers you.

The leaves of the plant contain 17% of high-quality protein, useful for any organism, be it a person or a pet. Black amaranth seed oil surpasses even sea buckthorn in many useful indicators.

He is very fond of light, so good lighting plays an important role in his successful cultivation. He also loves timely watering, but is able to withstand a short drying of the soil.

Amaranth is sown only when the soil temperature rises to 8-10 degrees. Often, the seeds remaining on the bushes until late autumn crumble and germinate in the spring in a friendly bunch. It remains only to evenly seat them on the site.

Edible varieties of amaranth: Valentina, Krepysh, white, pink and others

Edible varieties of amaranth are a real storehouse of nutrients and trace elements. Their foliage and stems contain just a colossal amount of protein – 18%. Food varieties are annual crops that propagate by seed.

During the flowering period, most food varieties of amaranth, the photos of which can be seen below, also act as an excellent decoration of the garden:

All parts of the plant can be eaten – stems, grains and leaves. A wide variety of dishes are prepared from it, it can be nutritious and healthy cereals, and light dietary salads, delicious flour products, teas and decoctions. There are a huge number of recipes for preparing delicious dishes from pink amaranth.

There are many varieties of amaranth, including vegetables. The most popular and sought after edible varieties of amaranth are:

“Valentina” is an early ripe plant variety, 45 days pass from seed germination to technical ripeness of the crop, and 110–120 until they are fully ripe. This is a culture reaching a height of 100-170 cm, with lateral shoots spaced evenly along the entire stem. The leaves are elliptical red-violet, with solid edges. The inflorescence of the amaranth variety “Valentina” is erect, purple, of medium density. The yield ranges from 0.6 to 0.7 kilograms of seeds per square meter of sowing.

“Krepysh” is an early ripening variety, only about 80 days pass from seed germination to consumption. Bushes have a height of up to 140 cm, decorated with juicy, delicate, bright green leaves. Inflorescences erect, red-brown, medium density, light yellow seeds. The yield is 2.5-3.0 kilograms of seeds per square meter.

“In Memory of Kovas” is a mid-season grain variety of amaranth. The plant is low, only 110 cm in height, decorated with delicate and juicy dark green leaves. Its inflorescences are erect, brown with a red tint, and are distinguished by a high density. The yield of this variety is 3.0-4.0 kilograms of seeds per square meter.

“Opopeo” (Opopeo) – has a very juicy and tasty bronze-green leaf color, which is widely used for soups and salads. The inflorescences of the plant are spike-shaped, erect, red.

“White Leaf” or white amaranth is a dwarf variety of a food variety of a plant, it reaches a height of only 20 cm, has pale green stems and leaves, and has a pleasant taste. Often this variety is grown at home in order to be able to pamper your family with fresh herbs all year round.

The best predecessors for this crop are tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes and zucchini. Plants planted after legumes also feel good. It is necessary to plant this crop repeatedly in the same place no more than once every 4 years.

During the first two weeks after germination, the ground part of the plant develops very slowly, since during this period the active formation of the measles system takes place. While this process lasts, it is important to protect the plants from weeds that can drown them out, so weeding should be mandatory and regular.

After the appearance of 1 and 2 true leaves, the first thinning is carried out, the distance between plants should be at least 3 cm, the second thinning after another 2 weeks by 30 cm. After that, top dressing is introduced, which is repeated every 12-14 days (you need to alternate mineral and organic fertilizers ).

When the resulting seed pods acquire a straw color, and the upper part of the inflorescences is cut into seeds. The rest are cut and dried in the shade in the open air.

Description of varieties of amaranth Giant, Lera (crimson), Emperor and Royal

This plant has been used as feed for livestock for a very long time. This nutritional food supplement is eaten with pleasure by many domestic animals – pigs, cows, chickens. At the same time, not only succulent leaves and stems are used, but also roots.

The most easily grown and productive varieties of fodder amaranth are:

“Aztec” is a mid-season variety characterized by high yields of both green mass and grain. The stems are powerful, strong, reach a height of 150 cm and have a red color. The inflorescences of the plant and its leaves are also red, and the seeds are dark brown.

“Giant” – is distinguished by a large amount of foliage and its juiciness. Amaranth variety “Giant” is well eaten by farm animals, fresh and in the form of silage. The culture has an impressive size of 165-190 cm, the inflorescences are yellow and red, the seeds are discoid white.

“Kizlyarets” – a weakly bushy representative of this family, has a straight, ribbed stem and red inflorescences of medium density. The leaves are pale green and elliptical in shape.

“Lera” is a mid-season predominantly fodder variety. The plant is 170-220 cm high. The stem is green, the leaves are green with red veins. The inflorescences of this amaranth are raspberry-shaped in the form of a panicle.

In addition to the above, there are many varieties of this plant, for example, such as the variety of amaranth “Imperator” and amaranth “Royal”, which differ in their external parameters and conditions for sowing and growing.

Varieties of amaranth Kharkov-1, Voronezh and Ultra

The cultivation of these varieties of the plant is carried out exclusively for obtaining seeds, the leaves are rarely used, and the stems and other parts of the plant are not used at all. From the collected seeds, oil is produced or they are fed to livestock.

Among farmers, the most popular varieties for grain are:

“Kharkovsky-1” is an amaranth variety that many agronomists consider universal. In addition to the grain itself, they use its greens to feed livestock. Also, this variety is famous for its medicinal properties and is considered one of the highest yielding. The maturation period is 110 days.

“Helios” is a very popular and early ripe variety. The stems of the plant can reach 170 cm, the inflorescences are orange in color, they are highly resistant to lodging and shedding. The grains are rounded white.

The orange giant is an amaranth variety described by agronomists as a very tall plant, reaching 2.5 m in height and having powerful arcuate orange-colored stems. From the seeds of this plant, flour is obtained that has a characteristic nutty flavor.

“Voronezhsky” – an early ripening variety of amaranth up to 120 cm high. Voronezh amaranth is grown exclusively for grain, since the plant forms very little green mass.

“Ultra” – an early ripe variety of amaranth, characterized by light green inflorescences and a high oil content in the seeds. In height, amaranth “Ultra” grows up to 100-130 cm.

Red tailed, green, yellow and tricolor varieties of amaranth (with photo)

Deciding to decorate your flower garden with some kind of decorative amaranth variety, you will not go wrong and will be pleasantly surprised. This beautiful and stately flower is sure to be a decoration of the garden, pleasing to the eye until the frost.

On the territory of the former post-Soviet space, four species of this plant are most common, with a long list of varieties that differ in the shape of flowers and their color:

Amaranth dark is a slightly branching variety with stems up to 150 cm long, elongated, pointed, rich green leaves and erect spike-shaped purple inflorescences.

Amaranth tailed – a plant with powerful erect stems up to 150 cm long and large, elongated, rich green leaves.

Tailed amaranth blooms, the photo of which can be seen below, with paniculate hanging inflorescences with small red or green-red flowers:

Panicled or red amaranth – the stems of the plant are strong up to 150 cm in length, the leaves are elongated, brown-red with an elongated top, the inflorescences are drooping or erect with small red flowers.

Amaranth tricolor is a compact bush of a pronounced pyramidal shape with erect stems up to 150 cm long and elongated narrow leaves of three colors.

The description of amaranth varieties given above is only a small list of available varieties.

Photos of amaranth species, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of this plant, are given below:

The seeds of ornamental varieties of amaranth have a characteristic dark color, they are not suitable for eating or making oil from them, but the leaves can be used in salads.

The most beautiful varieties of the above types of amaranth are:

Roter Dom or Roter Dam – a low variety, reaching a height of only 50-60 cm, is distinguished by rich burgundy inflorescences and dark red, almost burgundy foliage.

Hot Biscuits or Hot Biscuit is the highest variety of all known ornamental amaranths. This giant amaranth reaches a height of 1 m and has large red-orange inflorescences and green foliage.

Green Thumb or green amaranth is a very beautiful variety that fits perfectly into any flower garden. The stems of this plant reach 40 cm in length, the inflorescences are painted in a rich emerald color during flowering, by the end of summer they become brown.

Illumination or yellow amaranth – this variety grows up to 70 cm in height, differs in different colors of leaves on one bush. Young leaves are red-yellow, then they turn orange-red, and by the end of summer they turn bronze.

Pygmy Torch is a low variety up to 40 cm, decorated with straight purple inflorescences, with the onset of cold weather, the inflorescences turn brown, and the leaves are multi-colored.

Rotschwanz or Rotschwanz – the flower grows up to 75 cm in height, has many shoots and lush, red inflorescences.

Decorative plant varieties are great for making bouquets for the winter, wreaths and other compositions .

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