Love Lies Bleeding
Amaranthus caudatus [ Plantae: Angiosperms: Eudicots: Core eudicots: Caryophyllales: Amaranthaceae: Amaranthus: A. caudatus ]
Amaranth, Amaranthus, Love Lies Bleeding, love-lies-bleeding, love-lies-a’bleeding, pendant amaranth, tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth, and quelite.
Grows throughout the world, especially North and South America, Asia, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Eurasia.
“Love Lies Bleeding” is an annual that can grow upwards of 36 to 48 inches or 3-8 feet high. Amaranthus when in bloom produces a pale pink, fuchsia, red, or purple flower color in mid to late summer and/or early fall. Amaranthus is herbaceous and is a species of annual flowering plant. Its red color is due to a high content of betacyanins making it a popular ornamental.
When planting Amaranthus, one should space the plants between 18 and 24 inches apart. They need full sun. It can handle both humid and arid conditions. They need average watering regularly, but should not be overwatered. Soil should have a 5.6 to 6.0 acidic soil pH or a 6.1 to 6.5 mildly acidic pH. Amaranthus can be propograted from seed either indoors before the last frost or outside after the last frost. When collecting the seedheads, allow to dry on the plants, removing and collecting seeds.
Most of the plant, such as the leaves and seeds, are edible and often used as food in India and South America as well as Asia, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Eurasia. It was the principle grain crop of he Aztecs who called it the “golden grain of the gods”. With the Kiwicha variety, when the grain seeds are heated, they pop to create a crunchy white product that tastes like nutty popcorn often utilized as a delicious snack or as a cold cereal with milk and honey, as breading on chicken or fish, or in sweets with honey. The grain is also made into a flour and rolled into flakes, puffed, or boiled for porridge.
Folklore and History:
Known as the “Golden Grain of the Gods” by the Aztec. It was widely dispersed as much as corn was in the Americas.