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Green Amaranth

Amaranthus hybridus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2.5 metres tall
Fields, gardens, roadsides, wasteland.

Purple, no petals
The flowers appear inside erect, terminal spikes, tassel-like in appearance. 5 pink sepals. Wind pollinated.
The fruit is a dry seed.
A hairless, yellowish-green plant similar in appearance to Common Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) but with shorter, looser tassels. The leaves are oval and pointed. Annual. A garden escape, infrequently naturalised.
Other Names:
Green pigweed, Red Amaranth, Rough Pigweed, Slender Amaranth, Slim Amaranth, Smooth Amaranth, Smooth Pigweed.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Amaranthus hybridus, also known as green amaranth or smooth pigweed, is an annual plant that is native to the Americas. It belongs to the amaranth family and is known for its small, green flowers and green or reddish leaves. Amaranthus hybridus is a tall plant that can reach heights of up to 6 feet (2 meters) and is often used as a border plant or in naturalized areas. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climates. Amaranthus hybridus prefers full sun and is drought-tolerant once established. The plant is generally hardy and low maintenance, but it can be prone to pests such as aphids and slugs. Amaranthus hybridus is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the safety and effectiveness of using it medicinally.


Green Amaranth, also known as Amaranthus hybridus, is a versatile and nutritious leafy green vegetable that is native to Central and South America. It is a member of the Amaranthaceae family, which includes other plants such as quinoa and pigweed.

One of the most notable features of Green Amaranth is its high nutritional value. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as iron and calcium. It is also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. Additionally, it is a good source of protein, making it a great addition to any vegetarian or vegan diet.

Green Amaranth is also very easy to grow and can be grown in a wide range of conditions. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate heat and drought, making it a great option for gardeners in hot and dry climates. The plant can be grown from seeds and can be planted directly in the ground or in containers. It is a fast grower and can be ready for harvest in as little as 45 days.

The leaves of Green Amaranth can be eaten cooked or raw, and they have a mild, slightly spinach-like flavor. They can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and stir-fries. They can also be used as a substitute for spinach in recipes such as lasagna or quiche. The leaves can be harvested as they grow, which makes them a great option for a continuous harvest in your garden.

In addition to being a nutritious and delicious vegetable, Green Amaranth also has a number of medicinal uses. The leaves have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, fever, and sore throat. The plant is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Another great aspect of Green Amaranth is its ability to grow in a variety of soil types and its tolerance to different levels of light exposure. This makes it a great option for urban gardening and for those who may not have access to a traditional garden plot. It can be grown in pots on a balcony or even indoors under grow lights.

When harvesting Green Amaranth, it's best to pick the leaves when they are young and tender. As the plant matures, the leaves can become tough and bitter. To ensure a continuous harvest, it's best to pick the leaves often, leaving at least a few leaves on the plant so it can continue to grow.

Green Amaranth is also a great option for those looking to add more diversity to their diet. It's not a commonly found vegetable in supermarkets, but it's easy to grow at home, and it's a great way to try new flavors and textures.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, Green Amaranth is also a great option for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint. It's a hardy plant that requires little water and maintenance, making it a sustainable option for both home gardening and large-scale agriculture.

Another benefit of Green Amaranth is its ability to be stored for long periods of time. The leaves can be dried and powdered to be used as a leafy green seasoning, or the seeds can be dried and stored for future planting. The plant is also known for its ability to reseed itself, which means that once you have it growing in your garden, it may come back year after year.

Green Amaranth is also a popular crop in many parts of the world, particularly in Africa and Asia, where it is a staple food for many communities. It is often used in traditional dishes such as soups and stews, and it is also ground into a flour that is used to make porridge, bread, and other staple foods.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, Green Amaranth also has a number of cultural significance. It is believed to have been used by ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs, who used it in religious ceremonies and as a symbol of immortality.

Green Amaranth is a versatile, nutritious, and easy-to-grow leafy green vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes and has a number of medicinal properties. It is a great addition to any diet, and it can be grown in a wide range of conditions, making it a sustainable option for home gardening and large-scale agriculture. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, Green Amaranth is a must-have in any vegetable garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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