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Hopi Red Amaranth
Hopi Red Amaranth
 

Hopi Red Amaranth


 Amaranthus cruentus X A. powellii  Used by the Hopi Indians as a red dye. supplied as a small packet of seed imported from USA (with phytosanitary cert.) in late November; can be ordered in advance

Grain Amaranths are grown globally for their nutritious seed, their young leaves are used similar to spinach. Older leaves and flowers are boiled and used for dye.  Hopi Native Americans use the flowers to make deep pink dye for Piki Bread, a stone-baked flatbread made from cornmeal. This ornamental annual plant grows five feet high, it can bend under the weigth of its large, showy flower heads; staking in windy sites is recommended. Amaranths love full sun and amended soil. Poor, dry soil will produce smaller plants and flowers. In shade, the plants will become "leggy" and bend towards the sun. Amaranths will attract butterflies and bees. Most amaranths will reseed, sometimes in nuisance amounts, but the seedlings are colorful and easy to see, they are shallow rooted and gone with one swipe of the hoe. Increase by seed, many cultivars are available. (This commentary is from an American climate, however!)


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