Amaranthus cruentus

Amaranthus cruentus L.

Common Names: Huautli, Red Amaranth, Prince’s Feather

Family: Amaranthaceae

Habit: Amaranthus cruentus grows as an annual or perennial to 2 m in height (usually shorter). The mostly glabrous leaves are arranged alternately, ovate-lanceolate, with an entire margin and acuminate leaf apex.

Amaranthus cruentus is monoecious. The incomplete, imperfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal axillary panicles. The flowers are subtended by 3-4 maroon bracts and numerous hairs. The perianth has 5, pink/purple/red, unfused tepals. The staminate flowers have 5, unfused stamens and no carpel. The carpellate flowers have a superior ovary with a single locule and seed and no stamens.  The fruit is an achene at maturity.

Habitat: Amaranthus cruentus grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, farms).

Distribution: Amaranthus cruentus is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but occurs on many islands. It is native to Central America but now occurs worldwide.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Amaranthus cruentus is not used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is grown as a food crop for its seeds which can be used as flour and the leaves are edible.  It is also grown ornamentally for its showy pink/purple/red/maroon inflorescences.