Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) is an annual flower that grows to 60cm tall and comes in a variety of colours. But did you know that the flowers are edible and can be used to make tea?
Globe Amaranth is an edible plant from the family Amaranthaceae. It forms round-shaped flowers which partially dry on the plant. There are several varieties to choose from and it comes in many colours including red, magenta, purple, orange, white and pink.
How to Grow Globe Amaranth
Gomphrena globosa can be sown direct or raised as seedlings. Sow 5mm deep in spring or early summer or scatter the seeds on the surface of the soil and cover very lightly with soil as they need sun to germinate. The process is slow and can take up to three weeks to germinate when temperatures are above 20oC. If transplanting, choose a sunny location and keep the well-draining soil moist. They’re not quick to flower, taking 80-85 days or 12 weeks to reach maturity.
I’m growing a variety called Strawberry Fields, with bright red pom pom-like flowers that grows to a height of 90cm. I sowed seeds in early August, raised seedlings then transplanted them into a west facing location in the garden with other flowers covering a colourbond fence. They started to flower in March which is significantly longer than 3 months.
As a low maintenance flower, all you need to do is to water regularly as the plants favour moist soil. There’s no need to fertilise if you have prepped the soil beforehand as they are light feeders. Another advantage of growing gomphrena is that it is relatively pest and disease free. During periods of high humidity, powdery mildew may develop on the leaves so it’s best to give them enough space for airflow.
How to Make Globe Amaranth Tea
Firstly, harvest the flowers and leave them to dry in a cool spot for a few days. To make the tea, steep one or two blossoms in hot water for approximately 5 minutes then strain it. The tea has very little flavour, described at best as mild and grassy. It’s supposed to turn a red colour but this variety remained a pale pink. The tea is said to have anti-oxidant properties but as it has little flavour, it would be best to a mix it with other garden-grown herbs or flowers.
The flowers can also be used as cocktail garnish or in a dry flower arrangement.