Family: Amaranthaceae
Common Name: Molten Torch

There are 60 species of Amaranthus, all annuals, occurring in both tropical and temperate regions. Some are grown for their beautiful colours, unusual flowers and adaptability to hot conditions. In frost-prone Climates they are used for summer bedding, or grown as pot plants in a cool to warm greenhouse or conservatory. These showy plants look superb as the centerpiece of circular garden beds.


A. caudatus, love-lies-bleeding or tassel flower, is a tall, branching annual growing 1 m (3 ft) or more. It has pale green, oval leaves and drooping, tail-like, dark red flowers.

A. hypochondriachus 'Erythrostachys', Prince's feather, resembles A. caudatus, but it tends to grow taller and the erect flowers are a deeper dull crimson.

A. tricolor, Joseph's coat, is another tall species, with brilliantly variegated leaves in purple, red, green and yellow. Cultivar 'Splendens', fountain plant, also grows to 1 m (3 ft) or more. The leaves are generally dark purplish red, with a crown of lighter rosy red upper leaves.


Sow seed under glass in spring, in a warm propagating case, and plant out young plants when danger of frost is over, spacing them 50 cm (20 in) apart each way. They like a fertile, well-drained soil rich in humus. Water plants regularly during dry periods in summer. Mulch during hot weather. A liquid manure can be used later to ensure an attractive display. Tall varieties may need protection from wind.


Can be grown outside all year round in zone 10 and above.

Alyogyne      Amaryllis