Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

amaranth Amaranthus spp, a large group of plants of which many provide edible green leaves and some provide, or formerly provided, grain. They occur all round the world, mostly in the tropics. Many of the species are primarily used as ornamental plants in gardens, but the edible ones alone are a bewildering array, especially in Latin America, SE Asia, and W. Africa; and classification of the genus has been frequently revised.

One of the most prominent of the amaranths whose leaves are eaten, A. tricolor, is described under basella (and is also known as Chinese or vine spinach).