BOSTĀNAFRŪZ, amaranth, a medicinal and ornamental plant of the family Amaranthaceae called gol-e ḥalwā, gol-e Yūsof, zolf-e ʿarūsān, or most commonly, tāj(-e) ḵorūs (rooster’s crest). In Iran nine species are represented.
Amaranthuscaudatus (love-lies-bleeding amaranth) is cultivated mainly for the showy blood-red color of its flowers. It is also called bārūnak (Manẓarīya, Tehran), sorḵ-maḡz (red pith; Bardasīr in Kermān), zolf-e ʿarūs (bride’s hair; Mašhad-e Ḡālīšūrān in Kāšān), bostānafrūz (by some gardeners in Tehran and in many herbal drugstores). At Torbat-e Ḥaydarīya in Khorasan an infusion of the flowers is used for treatment of scarlet fever and typhoid.
The seeds of A. retroflexus (redroot amaranth; Tehran, Karaj, Qamṣar near Kāšān, Gorgān, Ḵorramābād, Azerbaijan, and many other areas; also called bostāngolī some villages around Arāk and Tabrīz, čavūštara at Ḵalḵāl in Azerbaijan, tūklī-otī “fox herb” at Ardabīl) in the form of groats are used as birdseed; the young leaves, when boiled, are suitable for human consumption.
The remaining species are A. cholorostachys (Gorgān, Gīlān); A. blitoides (Azerbaijan); A. deflexus (Tehran, Khorasan); A. lividus (Gīlān, Tehran, Azerbaijan); A. albus (Gorgān, Azerbaijan); A. grecizans (Tehran area, Gīlān, Azerbaijan, all of eastern and southeastern Iran); A. albus (Gorgān, Azerbaijan).
According to ʿAqīlī (p. 113) a mixture of pounded seeds of bostānafrūz and milk left overnight in moonlight, when taken in the morning on three or more consecutive days, cures gonorrhea (ḥorqat al-bawl) and hematuria (bawl al-dam).
P. Allen, “Amaranthaceae,” in K. H. Rechinger, Flora Iranica. Flora des iranischen Hochlandes und der umrahmenden Gebirge, Persien, Afghanistan, Teile von West-Pakistan, Nord-Iraq, Azerbeidjan, Turkmenistan, Graz, 1972, 91, p. 1; 12, pp. 1-19.
Sayyed Moḥammad-Ḥosayn ʿAqīlī Ḵorāsānī Šīrāzī, Maḵzan al-adwīa, Tehran, n.d. A. Parsa, Flore de l’Iran IV, Tehran, 1950, pp. 1102-06; VIII, Tehran, 1960, p. 13.
Idem, “Medicinal Plants and Drugs of Plant Origin in Iran,” Qualitas Plantarum et Materiae Vegetabiles 7, 1960, p. 116.
I. T. Vasil’chenko, “Amaranthaceae,” in V. L. Komarov, Flora of the USSR, tr. N. Landau, VI, Jerusalem, 1936, pp. 358-67.
M. Zohary, Flora Palaestina I, Jerusalem, 1966, pl. 265.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 4, pp. 387-388