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DB 2003878
DB 2003878 (August 23, 2022)

Amaranthus at ISU

Amaranth is a group of plants with several types: grain, vegetable, ornamental, and also wild types. Iowa State University released these improved types of amaranths from breeding with seed stocks from the US National Plant Germplasm System collection. The intention is to breed novel traits into advanced backgrounds, rather than make incremental improvements on amaranths that are already successful. We hope that some will be useful as they are, and in the pedigrees of new amaranth types bred by others.

Questions regarding the varieties may be directed to the breeder, David Brenner at 716 Farmhouse Ln, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 or by phone (515-294-6786) or email (

If you have any questions regarding the licensing of these new varieties, please contact Dr. Yi Wu by phone (515-294-9442) or email (



ISURF#05416 Two Semi-Dwarf Grain Amaranths with Improved Stems, Released in 2022 

DB 2003878 and DB 2003883 are semi-dwarf grain amaranth that combine the desirable lodging resistant stems from the ornamental variety Elephant Head (PI 584523) with the white seeds, and indeterminate inflorescences that are typical of grain production amaranths. They are from the genetic diversity in the United States National Plant Germplasm System’s amaranth seed collection, at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Iowa State University.
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ISURF#04957: Dwarf leafy amaranth variety DB-2008910

Iowa State breeder, David Brenner has released a short leafy grain amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) variety DB 2008910. The variety has a leafy spinach-like appearance when the plants are 20 cm height at the leafy stage before the inflorescence emerges. The shortness is because of short internodes, about 1.5 cm long between leaves on erect and not-lodging stems.
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ISURF#03801: DB 2006306: White Seeded African Vegetable Amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus)

The African Vegetable type is popular in West Africa. The traditional examples have black seeds; this version has white seeds which are more appealing as food since the seeds cook-up into a white porridge. Having white seeds makes this line suitable for use both as a vegetable, and for edible seed (grain) production.
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ISURF#03309 & 03310 Pillar Orange and Pillar Red: Ornamental Amaranth

ISURF is pleased to announce that two varieties of ornamental amaranth, “Pillar Orange” and “Pillar Red”, are released for licensing.

These varieties may be used as tall specimen plants (170 cm) as well as cut flowers. As a cut-flower ornamental amaranth they do not shed seeds and are therefore cleaner than existing ornamental amaranths.
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ISURF#02484: Non-Shattering Grain Amaranth Hybrid Populations

The populations DB 92226 and DB 9350 have little or no abscission at the equator of the utricle, or beneath the utricle. They are intended to reduce grain shattering via crossing with standard cultivars. Shattering can cause serious losses in commercial grain production. Utilization of these populations in your own crossing program may ultimately produce far superior commercial varieties by reducing this loss and increasing the value of your lines. 

  • DB 9350 (Amaranthus cruentus) plants are single stemmed, non-branching, and about 180 cm tall. The inflorescence is pink with distinctive, very short pedicels, making the inflorescence arms unusually compact. The seeds are black or white. 

  • DB 92226 (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) up to 140 cm tall. Inflorescence is red or green and the seeds are white. 

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Grain amaranths (Amaranthus spp., Amaranthaceae) are pseudocereals, with high-protein nutritious seeds. They are warm-season annuals that are primarily self pollinating. In the United States, they are grown for health food use; production is concentrated in Nebraska. In India, Mexico, Peru, and some other countries, amaranth grain is a traditional food (Brenner et al. 2000). 
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Amaranth from below

200 seed packets are available for a shipping and handling charge of $5.00 for the first packet and $2.00 for each additional packet. Payment must be received and an agreement must be signed with the Iowa State University Research Foundation prior to seed shipment. There is a limit of 3 packets per population. Watch for future amaranth releases from Iowa State University!

Questions regarding the populations may be directed to David Brenner at G212 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011 or by phone (515-294-6786), fax (515-294-4880), or email

If you have any questions regarding the ordering procedure of these new populations, contact the Iowa State University Research Foundation at


amaranth after frost