False Amaranth   
Foto info
False Amaranth
Photo: Tabish
Common name: False Amaranth • Hindi: लटमहूरिया Latmahuria, लेसुआ Lesua • Marathi: gitana, getna • Tamil: தொய்யக் கீரை Toya keerai, காட்டுக் கீரை Kaatu keerai • Telugu: Chenchali koora • Kannada: Chenchali soppu, Goraji palya, Kankali soppu • Sanskrit: aranya, aranyavastuka, kunanjara, kuranjara
Botanical name: Digera muricata    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Digera arvensis, Achyranthes muricata

False Amaranth is an annual herb, growing to 20-70 cm tall. It can be seen growing wild in waste areas. Stems are simple or branched from the base, nearly hairless. Alternately arranged leaves, 1-9 cm long and 0.2-5 cm broad, are narrowly linear to broadly ovate. Leaf stalks are long, up to 5 cm, base is narrowed, and the tip pointed. Flowers are borne on slender spike-like racemes, which can be as large as 30 cm long. The racemes are on a stalk that can be up to 14 cm long. Flowers are hairless, white mixed with pink to carmine or red, usually becoming greenish-white in fruit. Fruit subglobose, slightly compressed, 2-2.5 mm, bluntly ribbed along each side, surmounted by a thick rim. In India, the young leaves and shoots of False Amaranth are made into curries, or the entire plant is boiled and seasoned. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Thenmozhi
Photographed in Lodhi Garden, Delhi.
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