Amaranthus caudatus

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3836 - Amaranthus caudatus (Zieramaranth).JPG
Amaranthus caudatus growing in the Botanical Garden, Bremen
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
A. caudatus
Binomial name
Amaranthus caudatus
    • Amaranthus abyssinicus L.H.Bailey
    • Amaranthus alopecurus Hochst. ex A.Br. & C.D.Bouché
    • Amaranthus cararu Moq.
    • Amaranthus dussii Sprenger
    • Amaranthus edulis Speg.
    • Amaranthus leucocarpus S.Watson
    • Amaranthus leucospermus S.Watson nom. illeg.
    • Amaranthus mantegazzianus Pass.
    • Amaranthus maximus Mill.
    • Amaranthus pendulinus Moq.
    • Amaranthus pendulus Moq.
    • Euxolus arvensis Rojas Acosta

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

Many parts of the plant, including the leaves and seeds, are edible, and are frequently used as a source of food in India as well as in 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 amaranths, is 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 Amaranthus powellii. In indigenous agriculture, A. cruentus is the Central American counterpart to South American A. caudatus.

During the Victorian era, specific flowers had different meanings. Love-lies-bleeding stood for hopeless love or hopelessness in the Victorian language of flowers.[3]


A. caudatus can grow anywhere from 1 to 2.5 metres (3 to 8 feet) in height, and grows best in full sunlight. It can handle a variety of conditions, both humid and arid. It is easily grown from seed.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Amaranthus caudatus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Love Lies Bleeding: A Memorable Name for a Striking Plant". Retrieved 2016-11-26.

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