Amaranth Grain & Wheat

Amaranth is a herbaceous plant or shrub that is either annual or perennial across the genus. Flowers vary interspecifically from the presence of 3 or 5 tepals and stamens, whereas a 7-porate pollen grain structure remains consistent across the family. Species across the genus contain concentric rings of vascular bundles and fix carbon efficiently with a C4 photosynthetic pathway. Leaves are approximately 6.5–15 centimeters (2 1 ⁄2–6 inches) and of oval or elliptical shape that is either opposite or alternate across species, although most leaves are whole and simple with entire margins.

Amaranth has a primary root with deeper spreading secondary fibrous root structures. Inflorescences are in the form of a large panicle that varies from terminal to axial, color, and sex. The tassel of fluorescence is either erect or bent and varies in width and length between species. Flowers are radially symmetric and either bisexual or unisexual with very small, bristly perianth and pointy bracts. Species in this genus are either monecious (i.e. A. hybridus, L.) or dioecious (i.e. A. arenicola, L.). Fruits are in the form of capsules referred to as a unilocular pixdio that opens at maturity. The top (operculum) of the unilocular pixdio releases the urn that contains the seed. Seeds are circular in form from 1 to 1.5 millimeters in diameter and range in color with a shiny, smooth seed coat. The panicle is harvested 200 days after cultivation with approximately 1,000 to 3,000 seeds harvested per gram.


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