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Amaranthus cruentus 'Copperhead'

Family Name: Amaranthaceae
Common Name: Copperhead Amaranth, Hot Biscuits, 老鸦谷
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Annual Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Large herb up to 1.5 m tall or more.
Foliage Leaves vary in shape from egg-shaped to broadly lance-shaped to intermediate between egg- and diamond-shaped.
Flowers The round, thick inflorescence stalk is copper-coloured and ribbed. The inflorescence is produced at the tip of the stalk and in the leaf axils (i.e., terminal and axillary inflorescences). It is composed of male flowers near the tip and female flowers below the male flowers.
Fruits The copper-coloured, seed-like fruits (known as utricles) are egg-shaped to ellipsoid (2-2.5 mm long).
Cultivation Plants should be spaced 30-45 cm apart.
Etymology The genus Amaranthus comes from the Greek words for unfading flower ('amarantos' and 'anthos').
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The leaves can be added to salads.)
Cut - Dried Flower ( This cultivar is prized for its long-lasting inflorescence which is ideal for dried flower arrangements.)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary, Terminal

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Yellow / Golden
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Utricle

Image Repository



Master ID 32843
Species ID 7257
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.