Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth is a cosmopolitan genus of annual or short-lived perennial plants. Catkin-like cymes of densely packed flowers grow in summer or autumn. Approximately 60 species are recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to green or gold. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses with members of the closely related genus Celosia. Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, and ornamental plants. Amaranth species that are still used as a grain are Amaranthus caudatus, Amaranthus cruentus, and Amaranthus hypochondriacus. The grain is popped and mixed with honey. In North India, it is called Ramdana or Rajgira. The popped grain is mixed with melted jaggery in proper proportion to make iron and energy rich “Laddu or Ladoo” a popular food provided at the Mid-day Meal Program in municipal schools. Amaranth grain can also be used to extract amaranth oil - a particularly valued pressed seed oil with many commercial uses.