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Amaranthus dubius

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Amaranthus dubius
File:Starr 040527-9001 Amaranthus dubius.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
Species: A. dubius
Binomial name
Amaranthus dubius
Mart. ex Thell.

Red spinach, Chinese spinach, Hon-toi-moi, Yin choy, Hsien tsai (Script error) or Spleen amaranth (Amaranthus dubius) belongs to the economically important plant family Amaranthaceae.


This plant is native to Asia, Europe and Africa. It was introduced into Florida, the West Indies and South America. In Tamil Nadu (India) this is named as "Araikeerai". In general 'Keerai' means 'greens' in Tamil. In Telugu it is called yerra thotakura. In Kerala, it is called "Cheera" (ചീര)


Usually it grows to a size of 80–120 cm. It has both green and red varieties, as well as some with mixed colors. The green variety is practically indistinguishable from Amaranthus viridis.

It flowers from summer to fall in the tropics, but can flower throughout the year in subtropical conditions. It is a ruderal species, usually found in waste places or disturbed habitats.

Amaranthus dubius is considered to be a morphologically deviant allopolyploid. It is very close genetically to Amaranthus spinosus and other Amaranthus species.


This species is valued as a leafy vegetable throughout South and Southeast Asia[1] and also in Africa.[2]

In Cambodia, it is known as "Ptee" (ផ្ទី) where the leaf is used in cooking and to dip in a sauce base call tuk krueng(ទឹកគ្រឿង).

In India it is known as Thotakura or Koyagura (Telugu), Cheera ചീര (Malayalam), Kheerey (Kannada), Maath (Marathi),Bhajji (konkani) and Chauli or Chavleri Sag (Hindi).

It may be eaten raw in thoran or cooked in curry[3] and bhajis.[4]

In the Bantu-speaking regions of Uganda it is known as Doodo[5] and is commonly cut very finely and cooked with onions and tomatoes or sometimes mixed with a peanut sauce. It is called Mchicha in Swahili and is known as 'Terere' amongst the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru of Kenya, and as Telele by the Kamba of Kenya.

In Indonesia, the bicolor variety (green with red streaks) is known as Bayam and in Thailand as ผักโขม (Phak khom).

It is used as an herbal remedy in traditional African medicine.[citation needed]


  1. Edible Amaranth
  2. Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
  3. Curry with fresh amaranth
  4. Red Amaranth sidedish (Tamdi bhajji randayi)
  5. Goode, P.M. (1989) Edible Plants of Uganda. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

External links