Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth – Amaranthus caudatus

Love-Lies-Bleeding Amaranth
Love-Lies-Bleeding Amaranth

When I first saw the Hopi Red Dye Plant growing at the National Herb Garden in Washington, D.C., I got very excited. I had only read about this plant, and those descriptions had not done it justice! The pendant flowers are absolutely beautiful! The name Amaranthus comes from the Greek word for unfading, and when you see these flower panicles you understand why the name is so fitting.

The plant is astringent, anthelmintic, and diuretic. A decoction of the flowers has been used in the treatment of spitting blood and other hemorrhages. The leaves and seeds are used for food. The leaves much like spinach are boiled and consumed as a vegetable. The seeds can make a drink.

The Hopi have used this plant for yellow and green dyes, which is how it was given one of its common names. The flower panicles are used in flower arrangements and are often dried for winter use.

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