Prince's Feather Amaranthus hypochondriacus 'Pygmy Torch'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
prince's feather 'Pygmy Torch'


The Amaranth 'Pygmy Torch', known for its distinctive striking foliage and colorful inflorescences, is an ornamental plant with a unique and eye-catching appearance. The leaves of this amaranth variant are typically a deep green color, often with a somewhat shiny or glossy appearance, and they may have a reddish or purple undertone, which adds depth and interest to the foliage. A feature of this plant is its stunning flower spikes, which emerge as dense, plume-like structures that have a rich, dark red or burgundy hue. These flower spikes are filled with tiny, closely-packed flowers that can provide a dramatic visual impact in the garden or when used in cut flower arrangements. The overall aspect of the 'Pygmy Torch' amaranth is one of rich, saturated colors and a striking vertical visual interest that draws the eye and adds a bold statement to the planting area where it's grown. It is a robust plant with sturdy stems that support the weight of the flower spikes, and its leaves can be as visually attractive as the flowers due to their coloration and texture.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Prince's Feather, Pygmy Torch Amaranth, Miniature Amaranth, Prince-of-Wales Feather

    • Common names

      Amaranthus hypochondriacus 'Pygmy Torch'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Prince's feather is not known to be toxic to humans. In fact, various parts of the plant, such as the seeds and leaves, are edible and have been consumed in various cultures for their nutritional value. However, as with any plant material, individual allergies or sensitivities could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms in some people.

    • To pets

      Prince's feather is not known to be toxic to pets. This plant, which is part of the Amaranthus genus, is not listed among the common toxic plants for animals such as dogs and cats. Ingesting the plant should not cause any severe symptoms of poisoning. However, pets with certain health conditions or sensitivities may experience mild digestive upset if they consume parts of the plant. It is always advisable to monitor pets if they ingest plants and to consult a veterinarian if any adverse reactions occur.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet [30-60 cm]

    • Spread

      1 feet [30 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Nutritional Value: Amaranth, including the 'Pygmy Torch' variety, is known for its seeds which are high in protein, fiber, and essential amino acids, particularly lysine which is lacking in many grains.
    • Decorative Appeal: 'Pygmy Torch' amaranth has striking purple-red foliage and flower spikes that make it an attractive addition to garden beds and borders for aesthetic purposes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Amaranth is generally drought-resistant, making it suitable for xeriscaping or gardens in areas with limited water resources.
    • Edible Greens: The leaves of the ‘Pygmy Torch’ amaranth can be harvested and used as leafy greens, enriching diets with important vitamins like A and C.
    • Easy to Grow: This amaranth variety is easy to cultivate, requiring minimal care, which makes it suitable for novice gardeners.
    • Soil Enrichment: Amaranth plants can help prevent soil erosion with their extensive root system while also adding organic matter when they decompose after cropping.
    • Gluten-Free Grain: For individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, amaranth seeds provide a gluten-free grain alternative for cooking and baking.
    • Attracts Wildlife: The flowers of amaranth can attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, thus contributing to local biodiversity.
    • Cultural Significance: Amaranth, including the 'Pygmy Torch', has a rich history and cultural significance in various traditional cuisines and rituals around the world.
    • Versatility in Cooking: Amaranth seeds can be popped, cooked similar to rice or quinoa, or ground into flour, offering a variety of culinary uses.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ornamental Dyeing: The flowers of Amaranth plant can be used to produce a natural dye for textiles, offering various shades of reds and pinks.
    • Biodegradable Plates and Utensils: The stems and leaves of Amaranth can be processed to make biodegradable materials for eco-friendly disposable plates and utensils.
    • Natural Mulch: Dried Amaranth plants can serve as an effective natural mulch, suppressing weeds and conserving soil moisture in gardens.
    • Floral Arrangements: Fresh or dried Amaranth flowers can be used in floral arrangements or bouquets for their unique texture and vibrant color.
    • Craft Supplies: The seeds and dried flowers of Amaranth can be used in craft projects, such as creating homemade jewelry or decorative items.
    • Ceremonial Uses: In various cultures, Amaranth is used in ceremonies and rituals representing immortality and eternal love.
    • Fish Feed: Amaranth leaves can be used as a component in fish feed for aquaculture, providing essential nutrients.
    • Erosion Control: Planting Amaranth on slopes can help prevent soil erosion due to its extensive root system.
    • Photography Prop: With its striking appearance, Amaranth can be used as a photogenic prop in portrait and still life photography.
    • Biofuel Source: Research is being conducted on using Amaranth as a potential biofuel source due to its high biomass production.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Prince's Feather is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Prince's Feather is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Immortality: In Greek, 'Amaranthus' means 'unfading,' reflecting the plant's long-lasting flowers that retain their color even after being dried.
    • Affection: With its vibrant red blooms that stand upright, 'Pygmy Torch' often symbolizes strong feelings of love or affection.
    • Resilience: This hardy plant can survive in tough growing conditions, making it a symbol of persistence and resilience in the face of adversity.
    • Invisibility: In folklores and antiquity, the amaranth flower was used to decorate images of gods and goddesses due to its never-fading color, sometimes symbolizing the idea of hidden or invisible elements.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    To care for Prince's Feather, water the plant deeply once a week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid overhead watering to minimize leaf moisture, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Provide approximately one gallon of water per plant for each watering session, ensuring you adjust based on rainfall and temperature conditions which can affect the plant's water needs. During particularly hot or windy weather, you may need to water more frequently to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

  • sunLight

    Prince's Feather thrives best in full sun to partial shade conditions. The ideal spot for this plant would be where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. If the sunlight is too intense, especially in very hot climates, providing some afternoon shade will help prevent scorching of the leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Prince's Feather can endure a wide range of temperatures but grows best when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit but will not tolerate frost. Ideal growth occurs when nighttime temperatures do not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prince's Feather should be pruned to remove dead or damaged foliage and to encourage bushier growth. Pruning can be done throughout the growing season as needed. The best time for a more thorough pruning is in the late winter or early spring, just before new growth begins. Regular trimming helps maintain the plant's shape and vigor.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Prince's Feather thrives in well-draining soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. A good mix would be equal parts garden soil, compost, and perlite or sand to ensure proper drainage. Regular applications of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer will support its growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Prince's Feather generally needs to be repotted every 1-2 years. It's best to repot in the spring before the growing season begins. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current one to allow room for growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Prince's Feather prefers moderate to high humidity levels. Aim for 40-50% relative humidity around the plant for optimal growth. Avoid placing it near heating vents which can decrease the ambient humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Prince's Feather in bright, indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Prince's Feather in full sun to partial shade; water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Amaranthus hypochondriacus 'Pygmy Torch', commonly referred to as Prince's Feather, begins its life cycle with seed germination which usually occurs in warm soils after the last frost of the season. Once sprouted, the seedlings establish themselves with a pair of true leaves, and then enter a phase of rapid vegetative growth where they develop the distinctive broad leaves and robust stems. As the plant matures, it enters the flowering stage, producing striking red inflorescences that can attract pollinators and are also wind-pollinated. Following pollination, the Prince's Feather sets seed in clusters of tiny, grain-like fruits that mature and dry on the plant. The life cycle can conclude when the plant senesces and dies after seed maturation, completing its annual pattern. The seeds may then overwinter and germinate when conditions are once again favorable, continuing the species' life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Amaranthus hypochondriacus 'Pygmy Torch', commonly known as Prince's Feather, is through seed. The best time to sow Prince's Feather seeds is in late spring, following the last frost when the soil has warmed up to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 degrees Celsius). To propagate, seeds should be directly sown into well-draining soil at a shallow depth of 1/4 inch (about 6 millimeters). These should be spaced around 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 centimeters) apart to allow adequate room for growth. Germination generally takes 7 to 14 days, with emergence speed increasing as the soil temperature rises. Once seedlings have developed a few true leaves and are sturdy enough, they can be thinned or transplanted to their desired locations in the garden.