Floral Friday ~ Amaranthus

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Floral Friday ~ Amaranthus

Such a showy and exotic looking flower, amaranthus adds a distinct interesting texture to arrangements.  Today’s focus is on the ever popular hanging red and green as well as the creamy desert yearning varieties.

Facts about Amaranthus

  • Amaranthus cultivation reached its height during the Aztec Empire. For the Aztecs, the Amaranthus represented nutritional value, in both therapeutic and the ritual usage.
  • To this day, Amaranth grains are toasted much like popcorn and mixed with honey or molasses to make a treat called alegra, literally “joy” in Mexican Spanish.
  • As Amaranthus was often mixed with blood and used in pagan ceremonies, it was nearly extinct when Christian culture spread in the Americas.
  • Amaranthus leaves are oval, 2-4 inches long, starting out green or dark red and changing to bright yellow, orange or florescent pink at the top.
  • Amaranthus foliage is used as edible greens (tastes like spinach), herbs, and grains in Africa, China, Greece, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Tibet.
  • Amaranthus caudatus is most typically known as the Love-Lies-Bleeding plant and serves as a border plant in flower gardens.

“Amaranthus | The Flower Expert – Flowers Encyclopedia.” The Flower Expert, www.theflowerexpert.com/content/growingflowers/flowersandseasons/amaranthus.