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Grain amaranths are annual plants and include several species of Amaranthus grown specifically for the seeds which are usually lighter colored than vegetable amaranth varieties. The cultivation of grain amaranths as food plants is traceable to ancient Aztec civilizations of Mexico. The grain amaranth species are highly variable; some experimentation with strains of available species may be necessary to find one suitable to a new area.

A Mexican landrace grain amaranth with a yellow inflorescence. (A. cruentus)