Oh, how I would like to be your Amaranth guide.
To walk you through A. cruentus, A. hypochondriacus, and A. caudatus by way of A. tricolor and those other Amaranth species..
I would like to tell you which Amaranths have hanging flowers and which stand up straight. Which have white seeds and which black. And the differences in their leaves and their plant structures.
And especially which Amaranth crosses with which Amaranth.
But I do not have an Amaranth cheat sheet to give you to navigate this plant.
I’ve grown a bunch and I haven’t seen much crossing. And that’s what I can tell you.
But don’t let my confusion stop your from considering Amaranth for #seedsavingformarketgrowers.
If you’ve grown Amaranth as a vegetable or as a cut flower then you know how much seed can set on a flower that escaped harvest. It won’t take much for you to have enough seed to keep your garden stocked.
You’ll probably also see Amaranth volunteers popping up years to come!
Amaranth lovers should be amaranth seed savers.
The PROS of saving Amaranth seed:
- Readily dries down in field
- Tons of blooms even if you let a few go to seed
- I think there are only open pollinated varieties
- Annual – from seed to seed in 1 season
- Seems to not cross too much (but this is a bit of a guess.)
The CONS of saving Amaranth seed:
- Confusing to know what crosses with what
- TIny seed can be frustrating (and itchy) to clean. Use a window screen to clean Amaranth seeds. The tiny seeds fall through so nicely.
5 lbs to 20 lbs from a 100ft bed
3-5 years (probably longer)