Amaranth is an herbaceous annual plant belonging to the family Amaranthaceae with green or red leaves and branched flower stalks (heads) bearing small seeds, variable in colour from cream to gold and pink to shiny black. There are about 60 species of Amaranthus. However, only a limited number are of the cultivated types, while most are considered weedy species and hence rarely preserved. Of all the indigenous tropical leafy vegetables, amaranth has the largest number of species and varieties. Amaranth can be used as a high-protein grain or as a leafy vegetable.
Amaranth is grown during both wet and dry seasons, though irrigation is normally required for dry season crops since the rate of transpiration by the leaves is fairly high.