Amaranth

See: Amaranthus. Amaranthus

Amaranth is an ancient crop of the Americas cultivated either as a grain crop or as a pot herb. It is also a popular ornamental. The Spanish tended to prohibit its cultivation as they believed it was associated with cannibalism, but its full potential is now being recognised. The grain amaranths consist of three species, A. hypochondriacus and A. cruentas that originated in Mexico and Guatemala, and A. caudatus, which is native to Andean countries such as Peru. Vegetable amaranths are boiled as greens and include A. tricolor, A. dubius, and A. cruentus. Most amaranths are have high levels of horizontal resistance to all their pests and diseases but there is considerable scope for improvements in yield, quality, and agronomic suitability, including possible day-length changes. The amaranths are windpollinated and should be subjected to open-pollinated breeding techniques. An attractive crop for plant breeding clubs. Amateur plant breeding

Plant breeding that is undertaken by people who are not professional plant breeders, and who have no formal training in plant breeding. Amateur plant breeders will often prefer to be members of a plant breeding club.

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