Amaranthus viridis


BOTANICAL NAME:- Amaranthus viridis.  


SINHALA : Kura-tampala
TAMIL : Araikkirai.


A much branched erect annual stem 30-56 cm tall, cylindrical, glabrous and shining, purplish.
LEAVES:- Simple, alternate 3-6.3 cm long, 1.6-4.7 cm broad.

FLOWERS:- Small, unisexual monoecious, sessile in clusters on slender, tapering, interrupted, terminal and axillary paniculate spikes. (period-Oct-Dec).

FRUIT:- 1.5 mm long, compressed, rugose, glabrous, indehiscent with a membranous pericarp enclosed in persistent perianth leaves. Seed blackish, lenticular, 1 mm across, glabrous and shining (Jayaweera, 1981).


Grows in all tropical countries including India and Sri Lanka. It is a very common gregarious weed in Sri Lanka along roadsides and waste ground (Dassanayake and Fosberg, 1980).

EDIBLE PARTS: Tender leaves.
FOOD USE: The tender leaves are eaten as a green vegetable.


Moisture - 81.8 g, Energy - 38 kcal, Proteins - 2.2 g, Fats - 0.3, Carbohydrates - 3.8 g, Calcium - 330 mg, Phosphorus - 52 mg, Iron - 18.7 mg. 

It contains an alkaloid and is rich in calcium and iron. It is a good source of vitamins B and C. The powdered leaves yield a tannin, some reducing sugar and resin. This 9 plant is a cholagogue, mild diuretic and demulcent to the urinary tract and is used with good results in chronic congestion of the liver, in irritable conditions of the bladder and in gonorrhoea when there is burning sensation in passing water. It is largely used as a hemostatic in hematuria, menorrhagia and bleeding from hemorrhoids. It is also used as an antidote for snake-bite, stings of wasps and bites of centipedes. The leaves are applied as a poultice to inflammations, boils and abscesses with beneficial effects. In Brazil, an infusion of the plant is used as a diuretic and galactagogue (Jayaweera, 1981).


Soil with a high organic content, with adequate mineral reserves is required for optimum yield. Optimum pH range is 5.5-7.5 but some cultivars will tolerate more alkaline conditions. Although it is tolerate for high temperatures, optimum is 2330°C, lowland areas up to 800 m altitude are more suitable for cultivation.


Kura tampala can be grown in home gardens or on small plots using labour-intensive practices. It may be sown direct or transplanted. It requires finely prepared soil so » that small seeds can be firmly packed with good soil contact for optimum water absorption.

Spacing /Seed rate - The very small seeds are mixed with dry sand to ensure uniform distribution. They are sown broadcast on to prepared beds at a rate of 1.5-2 kg/ha.

Irrigation - Increases yield but uneconomic. It is normally grown as a rainfed crop.

Fertilizer - It responds well to fertilizers with a high Potassium content. Time to harvest - First harvest may be taken at 2 weeks, but true harvesting starts 30-50 days from sowing, when plants are 15-20 cm high.

Harvesting- Either whole plant is uprooted when it is about 20cm high, in 3-4 weeks after transplanting, or established plants are cut above the bottom two leaves, which encourages growth of side shoots

Yield - Entire plant harvested- 20-25 t/ha; shoots only (successional harvesting)- 30-60 t/ha.


In wet places the green harvest can be stored for 2-4 days.