Celósia: A beautiful plant, which serves as food and medicine

Have you ever heard of the Celósia plant? Besides this plant having a beautiful flower, it is a PANC (unconventional food plant).

Botanical data

The scientific name of this plant is Celosia argentea, which comes from the Greek keleos, which means “to burn”, because its flowers have the shape and color very similar to the flame of fire, and argentea, which comes from Latin and means silver, due the shade of the color of the inflorescences of this plant in the wild.

The popular names of Celósia are several, such as:

  • Plume
  • Feathery lattice
  • Feathered Ridge Crest
  • Sigh
  • African amaranth or
  • African spinach.

This plant belongs to the Amaranthaceae plant family and has an Asian origin, specifically from India.

Features and peculiarities

Cellosia is a plant that enjoys equatorial, Mediterranean, subtropical or tropical climates.

This plant can reach heights ranging from 30 cm to 1 meter.

To develop satisfactorily, Celósia needs full sun.

Celósia’s life cycle is annual.

The flower of this plant is shaped like an ear and is “fuzzy” and can be purple, violet, red, orange, pink, yellow or cream. And the leaf is erect, and it can be green, purple or tan in color, and is 5-10 cm long.

The inflorescences of Celosia argentea when they are young, appear erect, but, when they are mature, the seeds contained in them cause them to become heavy and hanging.

This herbaceous has few branches, has a succulent stem, and its seeds are tiny, black and shiny.

Uses of Celósia as food and medicine

The flowers of this plant are very decorative, embellishing gardens and environments. For this reason, they can be grown in clumps forming beautiful colored clumps in beds or in the middle of lawns.

It also plants well as an ornamental in areas located on the edge of walls and walls.

Potted, however, it is not recommended to have it, as this plant grows best in larger spaces.

In addition to its ornamental utility, Celósia has medicinal and nutritional properties.

As a natural remedy, Celósia has action:

  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antidiabetic
  • and antimicrobial

In Brazil, Celósia is considered a PANC because not everyone knows that the leaves, shoots and seeds of this plant are edible.

In Nigeria, this plant is commonly used in food and, for this reason, it was renamed African amaranth or African spinach, despite its Asian origin.

In Asia, the plant has been traditionally consumed as food for a long time.

You can consume the leaves, terminal branches and stems of the young plant, since they are more tender and soft, and you can prepare them sautéed or in salads.

Flower buds and seeds can also be eaten cooked

A protein called Sokotein is extracted from the leaves, widely used as a food supplement, and the flower of the plant is a good source of calcium and iodine.

Consumption of this PANC cannot be overstated, especially raw, because it contains calcium oxalate which, in large amounts, can affect kidney function.

Another predicate of this plant is that it attracts beautiful insects like our adorable friends – butterflies!

Culture

To grow Celósia a fertile soil with good drainage is necessary, the waterings must be frequent and with a lot of light.

Celósia does not tolerate low winter temperatures.

This plant multiplies by seeds, especially in the warmer seasons like spring and summer.

By Deise Aur. Article in Portuguese

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