Amaranthus tricolor

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Amaranthus Tricolor
Amaranthus tricolor6.jpg
Amaranthus tricolor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
Species: A. tricolor
Binomial name
Amaranthus tricolor

Amaranthus tricolor, also called edible amaranth,[3] is a species in the genus Amaranthus (family Amaranthaceae).

The ornamental plant is known as bireum in Korea,[3] tampala, tandaljo, or tandalja bhaji in India,[4] callaloo in the Caribbean, and Joseph's coat after the Biblical figure Joseph, who is said to have worn a coat of many colors. Although it is native to South America, many varieties of amaranth can be found across the world in a myriad of different climates due to it being a C4 carbon fixation plant, which allows it to convert carbon dioxide into biomass at an extremely efficient rate when compared to other plants. Cultivars have striking yellow, red, and green foliage.

The leaves may be eaten as a salad vegetable as well as the stems. In Africa, it is usually cooked as a leafy vegetable.[5] It is usually steamed as a side dish in both China and Japan.

It appears on the coat of arms of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where it is called "flowers gentle".

Amaranthus gangeticus[edit]

Amaranthus gangeticus is considered a synonym of A. tricolor,[6] but has been recognized as a separate species in the past. A. gangeticus is also known as elephant-head amaranth. It is an annual flowering plant with deep purple flowers. It can grow from 2–3 feet in height. In Bangladesh, it has been used as a leafy vegetable. It may inhibit calcium retention in rice-based diets.[7]

Culinary uses[edit]


In Korea, the plant is referred to as bireum(비름). Small-leaved, reddish-stalked chambireum(참비름, "true bireum") is used as a namul vegetable in Korean cuisine. It is a wild green that grows abundantly in the countryside and tends to be foraged rather than planted and harvested.[8] Bireum has an earthy and nutty flavor, and goes well with both gochujang and soup soy sauce.[8]


  • Bireumnamul – a type of namul, is made by blanching the edible amaranth, squeezing it to drain water, and seasoning with doenjang or gochujang, sesame oil, chopped scallions, chopped garlic, and toasted sesame seeds. Bireumnamul goes well with boribap(barley rice).[9]


  1. ^ John H. Wiersema (2003-02-04). "Amaranthus melancholicus information from NPGS/GRIN". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  2. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  3. ^ a b English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 349. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service. 
  4. ^ Michel H. Porcher. "Sorting Amaranthus names". 
  5. ^ Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
  6. ^ "Amaranthus gangeticus L.". The Plant List. 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Larsen, T.; Thilsted, S. H.; Biswas, S. K.; Tetens, I. (2007). "The leafy vegetable amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus) is a potent inhibitor of calcium availability and retention in rice-based diets". British Journal of Nutrition. 90 (3): 521–527. doi:10.1079/BJN2003923. PMID 13129457. 
  8. ^ a b Bburi Kitchen (20 April 2016). "10 Korean spring greens you should know". Stripes Korea. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  9. ^ 정, 운헌 (6 March 2013). "박정희와 비름나물" [Park Chung-hee and bireumnamul]. Kangwon Dominilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 15 December 2016. 

External links[edit]