A traditional food plant in Africa, amaranth has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land care. In East Africa, amaranth leaf is known in chewa as bonongwe, and in Swahili as mchicha, as terere in Kikuyu, Meru and Embu; and as telele in Kamba. In Bantu regions of Uganda it is known as doodo. It is recommended by some doctors for people having low red blood cell count. It is also known among the Kalenjin as a drought crop (chepkerta). In Nigeria, it is a common vegetable and goes with all Nigerian starch dishes. It is known in Yoruba as efo tete or arowo jeja (meaning "we have money left over for fish"). In the Caribbean, the leaves are called bhaji in Trinidad and callaloo in Jamaica, and are stewed with onions, garlic and tomatoes, or sometimes used in a soup called pepperpot soup.
Red leaf Amaranth is an erect branched annual that can grow up to 2m in height. The green leaves are variable in size and turn purplish-red as the plant matures. Tiny red flowers grow in clusters at the top of the stems and in the leaf axils.
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