Saturday, August 30, 2008

Amaranthus cruentus: flower

[Photo: Amaranthus cruentus.]Amaranthus cruentus, known in English as "red amaranth", "purple amaranth", and "Mexican grain amaranth", and in French as amarante rouge, is an annual native to Central America. Although they are a source of nutritious grain, they are also often grown as ornamentals, rapidly growing to two metres or more with large, showy dark red flowerheads.

The ancestor of this plant volunteered in the backyard a few years ago. It was maybe three metres tall, with dark purple leaves. It self-seeded all over the place; unfortunately, many of the grandchildren have green rather than purple foliage and some even had boring green flowers.

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