The Hartman’s Giant Amaranthus cruentus Thriving, 6-8 feet tall with thick plumose tops full of tiny black seeds, prolific and great cut flower.
Hartman’s Giant Amaranthus cruentus
Named by Peace Seeds for a man from Jacksonville, Oregon who, in the 1970s, would fill a glass vase with black seeds and give a $100 prize to the person whose guess was closest to the total number. Thriving, thick, burgundy plumes with lots of tiny black seeds. Prolific. Grows 4-9 feet tall. Full sun.
This species was in use as a food source in Central America as early as 4000 BC. The seeds are eaten as a cereal grain. They are black in the wild plant, and white in the domesticated form. They are ground into flour, popped like popcorn, cooked into a porridge, and made into a confectionery called alegría. The leaves can be cooked like spinach, and the seeds can be germinated into nutritious sprouts. While A. cruentus is no longer a staple food in Central America, it is still grown and sold as a health food.