Amaranthus blitum - Purple Amaranth, Guernsey pigweed


Native to the Mediterranean Basin region, it is naturalized in other parts of the world, including much of eastern North America and Africa.

A. blithum grows in many regions of the world, most notably mediterranean, tropical and subtropical parts of the world. This species is found in central and western parts of Kenya in wet areas, on waste ground and in cultivated land. 

The Greeks call the Amaranthus blitum var. silvestrevlita (Modern Greek: βλίτα), and eat the leaves and the tender shoots cooked in steam or boiled and then served with olive oil, lemon and salt. Similarly, it is also picked as young shoots in Lebanon and cooked in olive oil, onion, chilli, and burghul, seasoned with salt and drizzled with lemon juice before eating with pita bread. It is considered a side dish and particularly popular in the north of Lebanon.


Leaves and young shoots are used as a vegetable. This is an important leafy vegetable in tropical and subtropical areas of Kenya and a popular species in traditional homegardens and sold in open markets.


The plant can be propagated easily by broadcast seeding. In favorable conditions it can become naturalized and is most likely considered invasive in some areas. But as a highly nutritious edible leafy green, perhaps that's not such a bad thing.