Pronounciation: Gom-FREE-na glo-BOW-sa
Sunset All zones as summer annual
USDA All zones as summer annual
Landscape Use: In Phoenix, summer annual bedding plant, containers, mixed landscape color borders, hanging baskets, cut flowers, and pollinator gardens.
Form & Character: Rounded, informal, soft, open, airy, delicate and festive depending on flower color.
Growth Habit: Generally a petite, evergreen, herbaceaous annual that mounds to roughly 1 to 4 feet tall with a 1 to 2 feet spread.
Foliage/texture: Opposite, oblong, nearly sessile, glaucous green to 2 inches long, stems glaucous green; medium texture.
Flowers & fruits: Flowers are white to yellow, very tiny, but are surrounded by prominent and colorful bracts that range in color from magenta, purple, red, orange, white, pink, or lilac. Terminal 'pom-pom' inflorescences on 12 to 18 inch glaucous green stalks are a visually dominant feature; fruits are inconspicuous, not showy.
Seasonal color: Flowers during entire warm season.
Temperature: Surprisingly tolerant of summer desert heat and posesses an internal C4 photosynthetic biochemistry.
Light: Full sun to partial shade, no full shade.
Soil: Tolerant of all soil textures, so long as well drained, not water logged, and not saline.
Watering: Drought tolerant, but in Phoenix it requires applications of regular supplemental water.
Pruning: Prune only as needed to control spread when planted in tight or small landscape spaces or to encourage a more dense and less open appearance.
Disease and pests: None
Additional comments: Common globe amaranth is a carefree, open and colorful herbaceous annual for summer color in mesic landscape gardens. Easy to care for. It is an outcrossing species that is pollinated by butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other insects. Flowers may be cut fresh or dried for flower arrangements. Common globe amranth is edible, has a high concentration of betacyanins, and has been used in many cultures to treat a host of maladies. For example, Caribbean folk medicine historically used globe amaranth to relieve prostate and reproductive problems. There are many named cultivars with different flower colors such as 'Fireworks'.