Amaranthus Caudatu, Tassel Flower: More Nutritional Value Than Kale

Amaranthus Caudatu

Photo Compliments of El Bingle

Amaranthus caudatus commonly called love-lies-bleeding, or tassel flower, gets its unusual common name from its tiny blood red petalless, flowers that bloom in narrow, drooping, tassel-like, terminal, and axillary panicles throughout the growing season. Panicles will typically hang straight down reaching a length of 12 inches (infrequently up to 24 inches).

This plant is an annual that usually grows 24 to 48 inches in height and produces oval, light green leaves (to 6 inches in length). The leaves can be used in salads and are more nutritious than kale. The seeds of this species are edible, and species plants are grown as a grain crop in some parts of South America. Flowers retain good color when dried and make great flower arrangements for your home.

How to Make Your Amaranthus Caudatus Thrive

This is an annual that is easily grown in moist, average, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. You get your best flowering in full sun, but this plant will appreciate some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. You will want to start seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before last frost date.

Flowers usually don’t appear until approximately 3 months after sowing. Set out your starts after the last frost date. You will want to space smaller varieties 8 to 12 inches apart and larger varieties about 18 inches apart. Seed may be harvested from garden plants for planting the following year.

General Amaranthus Caudatus, Tassel Flower Information

Pests and Diseases

There are no serious insect or disease problems. If the plant is stressed you need to watch for aphids; root rot may occur in poorly drained soils. It is possible to see aster yellows and fungal leaf spot disease in poor growing conditions. Plants grown in the ground may need staking, or other support.

Garden Uses

This plant is easily grown in containers. It may be used in beds or borders, as an edging along walks, or paths.

Medicinal Herb

Note: Medicinal herbs should be used under the supervision of physician and as part of a comprehensive health plan. Seeds are harvested just before the plant fully matures.


For medicinal use, the whole plant is cut when coming into flower, and dried. Young leaves are used for salads like kale, mature leaves can be cooked. Seeds are harvested just before the plant fully matures.

Culinary Uses

Young leaves can be used in salads like kale, mature leaves can be cooked.

Medicinal Uses

The whole plant is used as an astringent because of its soothing properties. It is used to control bleeding. It is used internally to control diarrhea, and used externally to treat wounds and control nose bleeds.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Amaranthaceae
  • Common Name: Love-lies-bleeding, tassel flower
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 2 to 11
  • Height: 24 to 48 inches
  • Width: 12 to 24 inches
  • Bloom Time: July to frost
  • Bloom Color: Red
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Water: Medium
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Flower: Showy
  • Tolerates: Drought

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  1. Like kale…. I didn’t know that…

  2. I should give this a try. It grows in my neck o the woods!

  3. This looks like the Chenille plant, a fav basket plant of mine. I love to pet it if my dogs aren’t available… it’s relaxing. Yes. I’m weird. 😉
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