Amaranth/Pigweed

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by moonwolf, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Pigweed is really wild amaranth, right?

    I see the seed heads of pigweed here contain seeds that could be utilized like a crop for poultry, I should think.
    Pigweed also brings up deep grouned nutrients up to the soil stratus to benefit garden plants.

    What do you think? domestic amaranth is an 'iffy' seed crop to grow in this zone. Pigweed grows. Does anyone know the nutrient value of the seeds of wild amaranth or pigweed?
     
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Pigweed is Amaranthus retroflexus, or Green amaranth, or Redroot, just one of many, many species of Amaranthus. The leaves are cooked as greens or used in salads and the seeds ground for flour. High in Vitamins A and C with good amounts of potassium. High in iron and calcium and useful for anaemia. Used externally for ulcers. The root is used to produce a dye which fades very slightly and achieves light yellow with an alum mordant; tan with chrome; light olive with copper; light gold with tin; grey with iron; ivory with no mordant.
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    thanks for that info culpepper.
    what do you think of the idea of using sprouts of pigweed? what would it taste like?

    I googled and found out that redroot pigweed is a toxic weed for cattle in the green leaf stage. Nothing mentioned about the seeds for animal feed? :shrug:
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I believe that the toxicity factor in cattle is mainly in bloating caused by over-eating. As I recall from my farm years, it was only the young plants which were eaten. Once the plants were a foot or so high, I don't think that any cattle would eat pigweed. I seem to recall some monster plants also growing in the pig lot and not really being their favorite!

    Also, I have learned this year about the leaves being edible but haven't tried them. There are several Hmong gardeners in our local community gardens. Although the quite common edible purslane is considered a horrible weed to them, they allow pigweed into their plots and continued to harvest it until the plants got too big. Some of the other gardeners may be unhappy that a weed is being allowed to grow but it's being grown simply as another green vegetable. And, any plant that has gotten too big is pulled. So, there are not going to be a few thousand seeds from a single plant.

    Martin
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    The year I grew the best sweet corn was by leaving about 2 pigweed plants to grow between each corn plant. The pigweed brings up nutrients from deep in the soil to the level of where the corn root can utilize it.