Herb latin name: Amaranthus mangostanus

Synonyms: Amaranthus inamoenus

Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth Family, Pigweed Family)

Edible parts of Amaranthus mangostanus:

Leaves - cooked as a spinach or eaten raw. Seed - cooked. A cereal substitute. Very small but easy to harvest and very nutritious. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated. The crisp interior of large stems makes a tasty cooked vegetable.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Waste land and roadsides in the Himalayas.

Other uses of Amaranthus mangostanus:

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easily.

Cultivation of Amaranthus mangostanus:

Waste land and roadsides in the Himalayas.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Amaranthus mangostanus:

No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.