Amaranthus dubius

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Amaranthus dubius
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
A. dubius
Binomial name
Amaranthus dubius

Amaranthus dubius, the red spinach, Chinese spinach, (simplified Chinese: 苋菜; traditional Chinese: 莧菜; pinyin: xiàncài), spleen amaranth, hon-toi-moi, yin choy, hsien tsai, or Arai keerai (அரை கீரை) is a plant species. It belongs to the economically important family Amaranthaceae.

This plant is native to South America, Mexico, and the West Indies, however; it is widely introduced throughout the world. The species occurs locally in France and Germany and is naturalized or invasive in tropical and subtropical regions of the United States (Florida and Hawaii), Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific.[1]


Usually it grows to a size of 80–120 centimetres (31–47 in). It has both green and red varieties, as well as some with mixed colors. The green variety is practically indistinguishable from Amaranthus viridis.

It flowers from summer to fall in the tropics, but can flower throughout the year in subtropical conditions. It is a ruderal species, usually found in waste places or disturbed habitats.

Amaranthus dubius is considered to be a morphologically deviant allopolyploid. It is very close genetically to Amaranthus spinosus and other Amaranthus species.

As food[edit]

This species is valued as a leafy vegetable throughout South and Southeast Asia[2] and also in Africa.[3] It may be eaten raw in thoran or cooked in curry[4] and bhajis.[5] In Uganda, it is commonly cooked with onions, tomatoes and peanut sauce.[6]


  1. ^ CABI, 2019. Amaranthus dubius. [original text by Duilio Iamonico] In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.
  2. ^ Edible Amaranth
  3. ^ Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
  4. ^ Curry with fresh amaranth
  5. ^ Red Amaranth sidedish (Tamdi bhajji randayi)
  6. ^ Goode, P.M. (1989) Edible Plants of Uganda. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

External links[edit]

  • PROTAbase on Amaranthus dubius
  • "Amaranthus dubius". Plants for a Future.