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Amaranthus tricolor L.

Amaranthus tricolor L.

Family

Amaranthaceae

Synonyms

Amarannthus tristis L., Amaranthus mangostanus L., Amaranthus gangeticus L.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Bayam.

English

Amaranth.

Indonesia

Bayam.

Papua New Guinea

Aopa.

Philippines

Kulitis.

Cambodia

Phtii.

Laos

Hôm.

Thailand

Phakkhom-suan.

Viet­nam

Rau d[eef]n.

French

Amarante.

Geographical Distributions

This genus is widely distributed. Amaranthus tricolor origi­nated from Southeast Asia but has been carried to other regions by emigrants. By far, the most important species in Southeast Asia is A. tricolor, followed by A. dubius and A. cruentus.

Description

Amaranthus tricolor is an erect, annual herb which can grow up to 1.5 m tall.

The leaves are elliptical to lance-shaped or broad-ovate, dark green, light green or red.

Clusters of flowers are ax­illary, often spherical or slightly spherical, and with a reduced terminal spike, but occasionally the terminal spike is well-developed. There are 3 tepals.

The fruit is dehiscent with a dehiscing lid.

The seeds are black and relatively large with about 1200-2900 seeds/g.

Ecology / Cultivation

Like maize and sugar cane, Amaranthus tricolor is characterised by the C4-cycle pho­tosynthetic pathway, which exhibits high photo­synthesis at high temperature and radiation. It grows well at day temperatures above 25°C and night temperatures not lower than 15°C. In Indonesia, the temperature is too low above 800 m for A. tricolor which causes growth re­tardation. Shade is disadvantageous ex­cept in cases of drought stress. A. triclor is a quantitative short-day plant, which is an advan­tage in the subtropics where the generative stage is retarded during summer. Due to rapid growth, water consumption is high. A crop nor­mally uses about 6 mm/day. A. triclor prefers fer­tile, well-drained soils with a loose structure. The mineral uptake is very high.

Line Drawing / Photograph

BOT00369

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.8: Vegetables.

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