Amaranthus caudatus

Amaranthus caudatus

Amaranthus caudatus growing in the Botanical Garden, Bremen
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
Binomial name
Amaranthus caudatus

Amaranthus caudatus is a species of annual flowering plant. It goes by common names such as love-lies-bleeding,[2] pendant amaranth, tassel flower,[2] velvet flower,[2] foxtail amaranth,[2] and quilete.

Many parts of the plants, including the leaves and seeds, are edible, and are frequently used as a source of food in India and South America – where it is the most important Andean species of Amaranthus, known as kiwicha. (see also Amaranth seed and Andean ancient plants) This species, as with many other of the amaranths, are originally from the American tropics. The exact origin is unknown, as A. caudatus is believed to be a wild Amaranthus hybridus aggregate.

The red color of the inflorescences is due to a high content of betacyanins, as in the related species known as "Hopi red dye" amaranth. Ornamental garden varieties sold under the latter name are either Amaranthus cruentus or a hybrid between A. cruentus and A. powelli. In indigenous agriculture, A. cruentus is the Central American counterpart to South American A. caudatus.


A. caudatus can grow anywhere from 3 to 8 feet in height, and grows best in full sun. It can handle a variety of conditions, both humid and arid. It is easily grown from seed.

In most of its range, it is planted as a summer annual. In temperate regions, plants can be started indoors in early spring and transplanted outdoors after the last frost.


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  • Information from University of Wisconsin
  • Flora of North America: Taxonomic, Scientific, and Distribution Information
  • Article about role of Amaranths in native American agriculture

External links

  • Jepson Manual Treatment
  • USDA Plants Profile
  • Ecoport token for Amaranthus caudatus L.
  • "Wild Food Plants Attracting Additional Consumer Categories": Amaranthus caudatus (Famine Food Guide website)
  • Photo gallery
  • Amaranthus caudatus L. Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (traditional Chinese) (English)
  • )Amaranthus caudatusCrops for the Future: Kiwicha (