Chenopodium giganteum, Tree Spinach Seeds

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Chenopodium giganteum
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Chenopodium giganteum, Tree Spinach

 

Chenopodium giganteum is an erect and heavily branched annual plant also referred to as Tree spinach. The plant synonym is Chanopodium amaranticolor. This species belongs to Chenopodium album or quinoa genus and Chenopodiaceae family. Majority of the species belonging to this genus have long been used as a vegetable, forage crop or grain, therefore, the original habitat of genetic relationship is hard to determine but nevertheless, the species was first naturalized in India and parts of southern France.

Chenopodium giganteum is a highly branched plant growing up to a height of 1-3 meters. The leaves are very hairy with magenta color when young and older ones turn to dark green. It has an ovate thin layer and its surface is about 20 by 16 cm. The arrangement of flowers of this species consists of terminal panicles with both male and female flowers which are pollinated by the wind. The flowering period starts in mid-summer; from July to September which is followed by fruits that have seeds of about 1.5mm in diameter. The plant does not have a high requirement for soil quality and has weedy characteristics like rapid spreading and first growth.

Chenopodium giganteum can be useful in various ways. The plant’s leaves can be cooked to be eaten as vegetables and have an excellent quality resembling spinach in taste and nutrition. The raw leaves are not advisable to be eaten in large quantities since they contain some toxicity. The seeds can be cooked or ground into a powder and mixed with wheat and other cereals to make bread. The plant is also a good source of gold or green dyes and the stems were used traditionally to make walking sticks.

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