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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Amaranth (Amaranthus)

Bought a pack of Red-leafed Amaranth seeds from the Bkt Jalil nursery nearby this weekend. It costs Rm3.50 but the thin packet is full of seeds, so I think it's worth it. 
After buying this, my wife & I only then went shopping around to see what other options do we have in the supermarkets such as Giant & Carrefour ( I know it's against smart shopper principles...). To our surprise, Giant in Bdr Kinrara is actually selling seeds (of veggies & flowers), but I feel that the price of RM1.99 for the amount of about 1/8 of the seed packet pictured below is not economical. Carrefour Sri Petaling has a tat more brand options than Giant, the price ranges from RM1.99 to as much as ~RM3.80 for at most 1/4 amount of seeds of the packet pictured below.

 The seed pack.

Below are excerpts from Wikipedia.
I never knew the humble Amaranth has such great properties !

Amaranth is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs. Approximately 60 species are recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to gold.
Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, and ornamentals.
The word comes from the Greek amarantos.

Amaranth greens, or more commonly known as the Chinese spinach, Bayam or 苋菜xiàn cài) locally, are a common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. They are a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and foliate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Because of its valuable nutrition, some farmers grow amaranth today. However their moderately high content of oxalic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium and zinc, and also means that they should be avoided or eaten in moderation by people with kidney disorders, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Amaranth seeds, like buckwheat and quinoa, contain protein that is unusually complete for plant sources. Most fruits and vegetables do not contain a complete set of amino acids, and thus different sources of protein must be used.
Its seeds have a protein content greater than that of wheat. However, unlike that found in true grains (i.e. from grass seeds) its protein is not of the problematical type known as gluten. Several studies have shown that like oats, amaranth seed or oil may be of benefit for those with hypertension and cardiovascular disease; regular consumption reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while improving antioxidant status and some immune parameters.
(excerpts from Wikipedia - Amaranth )

Until I have seedlings for this, here is a close-up photo of the seeds in the pack.
kl vegetable garden


  1. It think it is a good buy if you have purchased it at the nursery. Usually the quality is good. As for those at the Hypermarkets, I often have to take chances. Sometimes all the seeds germinate but quite often I am disappointed when some or none of the seeds do. There are only a few seeds in each packet, so it looks like a waste of money. For vegetable seeds, I get a better chance if I get it from the nursery or vege seller at the wet markets. Pasar tani is a great place to get good quality seeds too. When these are not possible, then I have to buy from hypermarkets which is better than nothing.

  2. You will surely get a good crop of Amaranth from so many seeds! Good luck!

  3. I've just found your blog and have to say I am pleased. Like yourself I have very little space. I have a tiny garden plot, because it is so small I am doing a lot of growing in pots and containers. I will be looking forward to reading about yours successes and failures.

    I've never grown amaranth either, so this will be interesting for me too.

  4. Hi mangocheeks, thx for stopping by.
    Which part of UK r u in? I have a cousin in Norwich, My aunty & uncle is in St.Albans,Herts. Like u, my uncle has an allotment nearby his house, but he doesn't have a blog about it...
    U should look for some edible localised amaranth to plant. I recall clearly during my Uni days over there, I almost always end up eating lettuces & celeries as "amaranth green" is very hard to come by, donno the reason though, possibly due to the cold weather?

  5. Hi, I just found your blog today. Glad to find another gardening enthusiast from Klang Valley.

    I realized that seeds from supermarkets are more expensive and sometimes they don't germinate. I usually get my vegetable seeds from the Shah Alam Pasar Tani, held on every Sunday morning till lunch hour. There're some stalls selling plants & composts/fertilizers (located next to food stalls) and one stall is managed by UiTM students who sell seeds at 50 cents per pack to regulars. The usual retail price is RM1. It carries 'bayam' seeds too.

  6. Hi JC, thx for stopping by.
    I'm afraid I'm not quite familiar with Shah Alam.
    It would be great if you could help point out to me using Google Maps.

    RM1 sounds really economical for a seed pack. Do you have photos of it somewhere on your blog?


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