Redroot Amaranth goes by a number of different names. Probably because it has such a wide distribution. This wide distribution, it occurs in all 50 US states, is one reason it is a good plant to put in a survival guide.
Redroot Amaranth grows as an erect, annual herb reaching a heights of 9 feet. The higher leaves have a narrow lance shape and the lower leaves more of a diamond or oval shape.
This plant is eaten as a vegetable and no species of genus Amaranthus is poisonous but the leaves and stems contain oxalic acid so the plant should be boiled and the water should be discarded after boiling.
Both the leaves and stems are edible. The younger the leaves and stems the better. The leaves are used as a typical green would be.
To collect seed to make flour simply lay the seed heads on a cloth and dry them in the sun for a couple of days. Don't allow them to get damp and night, only lay them out during daylight hours. Once dried shake the seed heads in a paper bag and then strain through a sieve or use the wind to remove the outer shells. Grind into flour.
Photo credit: blurdom / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
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