Mat Amaranth (Amaranthus blitoides)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Mat Amaranth
Amaranthus blitoides
Amaranthaceae

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[168].

A glue is made from the plant[257]. No more information is given, it is likely that the starch from the seed was used[K].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – raw or cooked[46, 61, 95, 105]. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is used as a spinach[206, K]. The leaves can be dried and used as a winter food[257].

    Seed – raw or cooked[46, 61, 95, 105, 257]. Very small and fiddly, but the seed is very nutritious. Rich in starch[177]. The seed can be ground into a powder and used in making porridge, bread, mush, as a flavouring in soups etc[257]. 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[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    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.

Cultivation & Habitat

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[133]. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination[133]. Cuttings of growing plants root easily[206].
Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well[K]. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. There is some confusion over the correct name for this species, some authorities say that it is part of A. graecizans[58, 60], whilst others say that it is a distinct species[50]. Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the ‘C4 carbon-fixation pathway’, this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions[196].
N. America – Washington to Utah and Mexico, east to Maine and New Jersey.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.