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Newsletter

Amaranth / Kulitis
I.Scientific Name: Amaranthus tricolor L; A. viridis L.; A. dub ius C. Martius; A. cruentus L.
II. Common Names/Local Names:
Amaranth, Chinese spinach, tampala, pigweed (English)
Kulitis , Uray (Tagalog)
Varieties:
Tiger leaf – spineless, leaf soft tender and variegated in color
Red leaf – spineless, often used as an ornamental plants in certain areas
Green Leaf – spineless
Uray – spiny, It has a reddish color on the undersurface of the cotyledons and on the stem
III. Botanical Description
The edible amaranth (A. tricolor L or A. viridis L) is an annual leafy vegetables belonging to the amaranthaceae or
amaranth family.
Amaranthus – Erect annual, strongly branching, up to 2.5 m tall, with strongly branched tap root. Leaves alternate, long
petiolate, simple and entire. Flowers in axillary clusters, upper clusters often leafless and in panicled spikes, unisexual,
solitary in the axil of a bract, witrh 2 bracteoles, 3-5 tepals either free stamens as many as tepals (male flowers) or ovate or
oblong ovary with 2-3 stigmas (female flowers). Fruits a dry capsule, dehiscent or indehiscent . Seeds shiny black or
brown.
A. tricolor – Erect annual up to 1.5 m tall. Leaves elliptical to lanceolate or broad-ovate, dark green, light green or
red. Clusters of flowers axillary, often globose, with a reduced terminal spike, but occasionally the terminal spike is well
developed. Teplas 3. fruit dehiscent, with a circumscissile lid. Seeds black, relatively large; 1200-2900
seeds/g. cultivated
A. dub ius – Annual sometimes biennial, up to 2 m tall, erect, strongly branching, Leaves ovate or rhomboid ovate, shortly
cuneate at base, dark green. Lower clusters of flowers axillary, upper clusters leafless and in lax panicled spikes. Tepals
3-5. Fruits dehiscent, with a circumscissile lid. Seeds black, very small; 3000-4800 seeds/g. cultivated vegetables,
sometimes escaped as weed.
A. cruentus – Tall annual, up to 2.5 m. Leaves lanceolate, accurate and often short-decurrent at base, grayishgreen. Clusters of flowers in large axillary and terminal panicled spikes. Tepals 5. Fruit dehiscent, with a circumscissile
lid. Seeds dark brown to black; 2,500 – 3,000 seeds/g. seeds of grain types are light yellow. Cultivated as vegetable or
grain.
A spiny relative of kulitis called uray (A. spinosus L) is a common vegetable in some regions in the Philippines. Though,
spiny, it makes excellent greens or potherbs when used in the same way as spinach.
IV. Adaptability
It is highly adapted under lowland condition. Grow well at day temperatures above 250C and night temperatures not lower
than 150C. Amaranthus are quantitative short day plants. It consumes high amount of water and uses 6
mm/day. Amaranthus prefers fertile, well drained soils with a loose structure.
V. Uses / Importance

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Representative of the initials of the
Bureau of Plant Industry, the two
leaves stand for B; the right leaf
growing out of the good earth; for P;
the grain, for I.
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the most common practices is sowing directly in rows with 0.5-1. yellow and green coloured leaves or leaf sections and A. Transplanting is preferred when there is limited amount of seed.9 27 4. there is sufficient soil moisture. weed control is essential in their early stage. Nutritional values of amaranth (Raw and Boiled/100 grams edible portion) Nutrients Raw Boiled Moisture (%) Food energy (cal. Table 1. A soil test is highly recommended to determine the available N. used as a depurative against venereal diseases and as dressing on boils. During the rainy season. hemorrhage. Thorough land preparation is the first key to effective weed control.0 18.4 47.01 0. If it holds together when you release your grip. and soil organic matter. Raised beds. fertilizer recovery rate. Irrigate thoroughly to maintain vigorous plant growth. insufficient water will reduce yield.33 Niacin (mg) Ascorbic acid (mg) 1. Nutrient Value Amaranth is a rich source of calcium. Avoid over-irrigation. Pests and Disease Management Insect pests and diseases must be controlled to ensure good yield and marketable quality.4 4.4 314 62 12.4 2. Fertilizer recommendations depend on local conditions. consult your fertility management specialist or conduct soil analysis to determine optimal rates. Choose the most appropriate method(s) for your location. Direct seeding is appropriate when plenty of seeds is available. drainage is essential for plant survival and growth. anemia or kidney complaints. It may be controlled using a combination of methods. if the soil crumbles.U. A seedbed free of weed seeds allows amaranth seedlings to get a head start on the weeds and establish a canopy that can shade out emerging weed seedlings. VI. spinosus L.6 1. labor is limited and during the dry season when frequency of watering is less. However. yield increased with fertilizer application. P. A (I. Used as ornamentals are A.1 7. therefore. VIII. Drip irrigation or microsprinkler irrigation is recommended in areas with limited water supply. The choice of planting method depends on availability of seed and labor and may also vary with growing season. Depending on the cultivar.0 4. Table 1. soil type. Recommended fertilizer rates (kg/ha) for amaranth production at AVRDC Days after sowing/transplanting Nutrient Pre-plant Compost 10. and nutrients.345 0.0 76. Suggested fertilizer recommendations are shown in Table 1. A combination of both inorganic and organic fertilizers improves yield and maintains soil fertility. However. IX. Amaranth is used in stews.0 cm deep and space rows 10-20 cm apart. Amaranth is susceptible to Links . plenty of labor and during the wet season when heavy rains and flooding are most likely to wash out the seeds. Water should be applied especially just after sowing or transplanting to have a good stand.80 120. If sprinkler irrigation must be used. tricolor forms with red. or broadcasting with a seed rate of 2-5 g/m2 (20-50 kg/ha). Sow the seeds 5 cm apart within the row and cover with a layer of compost or rice hull.) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Total Carbohydrates (g) Ash (g) Calcium (mg) Phosphorus (mg) Iron (mg) Sodium (mg) Potassium (mg) Vit. avoid late evening irrigation to prevent diseases. A. Fertilizing Although amaranth is a low management crop and can grow in poor soils.00 1. thereby resulting in reduced yield.) Thiamine (mg) Riboflavin (mg) 84.70 109. dub ius will continue its generative stage for a much longer period and when cut regularly. and K. Weed Management Weeds compete for light.00 VII. If transplanted. 860 0.01 0. Propagation Amaranth is propagated by seeds.Amaranth is one of the most delicious leafy vegetables. Hand or hoe weeding can be performed as needed. iron and vitamin A as shown in Table 1. Many wild Amaranthus species are used as pot herbs. The wild A.0 443. it’s time to irrigate. water.37 83. Another way to gauge soil moisture content is to take a handful of soil from the bottom of a 15-cm deep hole. Amaranthus weeds are used as for fodder (pigweed). cruentus with large bright red inflorescences. Squeeze the soil. Amaranth is small-seeded and slow to germinate. Planting Amaranth is planted either by direct seeding or transplanting. Cultural Practices Preparing the field Amaranth requires thorough land preparation with twice plowing and harrowing and well-prepared bed for good growth. the plant may become shrubby and perennial but even at its mature stage the leaves are succulent which is suitable for consumption as vegetables. the seed requirement is only 2 kg/ha with plant densities of 400 plants/m2. clean furrows and large drainage canals facilitate quick drainage of excess water after heavy rain. It is a good crop for greens especially during the summer months when it is hard to grow and other kinds of vegetables. flowering may start 4-8 weeks after sowing then the seeds mature after 3-4 months (it will serves as the source of planting materials).5 341. which may enhance disease development and nutrient leaching. lactating mothers and for patients with fever.0 12. As a rule. the plants should be irrigated if wilting occurs at noontime. The amount of fertilizer to apply depends on soil fertility. Vegetable amaranths are recommended as a good food with medicinal properties for young children.000 N 48 P2O5 64 K2O 48 10 20 30 30 8 15 8 8 8 8 0 0 Water Management Amaranth is relatively drought tolerant.0 51. “sinigang’ and other dishes wherever spinach (Spinacea oleracea L). photoperiod and cultural practices.

such as early morning or late afternoon. Harvesting Amaranths are ready for harvest in 20–45 days after planting or sowing depending on variety and plant type. Post-Harvest Handling Since amaranth wilts rapidly. harvest during the cooler time of day. pub #03-552 PCARRD Technoguide 1985 pp 18-19. Pp 82-86 M. XIII. Prospects/Opportunities Amaranth is recognized as an easy to grow and very productive crop. leafrollers cutworms.e.C. Chemical pesticides should be used mainly as a corrective measure. Research should focus on optimization of cultural practices. May 2003. AVRDC International Cooperators’ Guide. Frequent harvesting of leaves and shoots delays the onset of flowering and thus prolongs the harvest period. X. common practice in markets and shops is to sprinkle with water to keep its fresh appearance. Eventually. washed and tied in bundles. To reduce water loss. If uprooted. XII. and try to avoid pesticides that kill or inhibit the development of beneficial organisms. Choose pesticides that have short persistence. Choose a pesticide that targets the specific insect that is causing the damage. Plants and Health.C.(02) 521-7650 © Bureau of Plant Industry | All rights reserved 2011 This Website is viewed times . Pesticides should be applied in the evening. i.. and workers should not be allowed into the field until the recommended waiting period (usually 12 to 24 hours) has passed . (02) 525-7857 or 525-7909| Fax. Once-over harvesting is adapted for short maturing and quick growing varieties such as A. Plant Genetic Resources of South-East Asia 8 (PROSEA) for Vegetables. flea beetles. Traditional method of spreading wood ash to dispel insects have been replaced by spraying regularly up to twice a week with insecticides. young leaves and tender shoots are picked at 2–3 week intervals. Manila Tel. Plants may be harvested once or several times. XI. An alternative but effective method of controlling insect pests is to cover the bed with a fine screen or nylon mesh netting (32-mesh or finer). and mites. 1984. Bureau of Plant Industry | 692 San Andres Street Malate. With multiple harvests. Kasem Piluek. the vegetables can be kept fresh for some days by putting it into basin with the roots in the water and sold in bunches or by weight. the effects last only a few days. the plants begin to flower and develop fewer leaves. References A. Sas. Amaranth and other leafy vegetables have large surface-to-volume ratio and lose water rapidly. tricolor.C. Palada and L.damage by foliar insects such as leafminers. aphids. p 10. effective pest control with fewer residues and plant nutrition. Chang. Whole plants are pulled from soil with roots. It is probably the highest yielding leaf vegetable of the tropics with its excellent nutritional value thus of high importance for human consumption and as a cheap green vegetables for city dwellers.