Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
In Africa and El Salvador, like many other species in the family Amaranthaceae, it is valued as source of food. The leaves and seeds are very nutritious and have a mild flavor. The seeds also contain phenolic compounds.
In temperate regions, it is cultivated as a half-hardy annual. Numerous cultivars have been selected, of which 'Green Thumb' and 'Pygmy Torch' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. It grows best in well-drained soils in full sun, and is suitable for USDA hardiness zones 3–10. It may be susceptible to aphids.
A. hypochondriacus is a vigorous, upright plant that typically reaches 40–200 cm (15–80 in) tall. It is often grown for its flowers, which appear in dense, catkin-like inflorescences in the summer and autumn. They are usually deep purplish-red, but may be yellow-green. These give way to dry fruits, about1.5–3 mm (1⁄16–1⁄8 in) long, that split open when ripe. The fruits contain smooth, shiny seeds that may be subglobose to lenticular, either whitish-pink or dark reddish-brown to black, and1–1.4 mm (3⁄64–1⁄16 inch) in diameter. The leaves are simple and alternately arranged, with entire margins. They are rhombic-ovate to broadly lanceolate in shape, about4–12 cm (1+1⁄2–4+1⁄2 inches) long and 2–7 cm (1–3 inches) wide, borne on long peduncles.
- Amaranthus hypochondriacus, an ornamental plant.