Amaranth bent back

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Amaranth; Amaranthus; Amaranthus retroflexus L.; Bent back amaranth; Foxtail; red root pigweed

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Amaranth, Amaranthus reflexus is an annual, rarely perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the foxtail family (Amaranthaceae). It comprises about 2500 species native to the American continent, now found on all continents.

Amaranthus species are particularly common in the warmer dry zones of the earth. The greatest species diversity is found in America; in North America alone there are about 38 species. Amaranthus species introduced to Europe from America, now spread mainly in southern Europe, but also in central and northern Europe. Especially in maize crops they spread as weeds. The green, somewhat fleshy leaves have smooth edges; they are alternately arranged.

Nutritionally, the fine-grained seeds of the garden foxtail (Amaranthus caudatus), which are reminiscent of millet and are still known in the Andes region today as Kiwicha, are used for nutritional purposes.

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Among the species found in Central Europe are:

  • White Amaranth,
  • White foxtail (Amaranthus albus L.)
  • Lying Amaranth
  • West American foxtail (Amaranthus blitoides S.Watson)
  • Bent down amaranth (Amaranthus deflexus L.)
  • Greek amaranth (Amaranthus graecizans L.)

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  1. Ma X et al (2015) Interference between Redroot Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) and Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.): Growth Analysis.PLoS One 10:e0130475.
  2. Tehrani M et al. (2011) Identification of a new allergen from Amaranthus retroflexus pollen, Ama r 2nd Allergol Int 60:309-316.
  3. Tehrani M et al (2010) Immunochemical characterization of Amaranthus retroflexus pollen extract: extensive cross-reactive allergenic components among the four species of Amaranthaceae/Chenopodiaceae. Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol 9:87-95.

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020