It looks like we’ll finally have love-lies-bleeding, amaranthus caudautus. I’ve tried this annual from seed several times with poor results. The last batch looked more like common pigweed, amaranthus palmeri, which, though edible and nutritious like most amaranths, is considered a crop nuisance. While one of the plants this year looked problematic (below), the rest look like they’re coming true. The red love-lies-bleeding should dangle!
Amaranth has been grown for food for thousands of years. Love-lies-bleeding is one of the species (70!) grown for grain. It is gluten free, and can be purchased in local stores as a grain substitute. I’ve tried it—not bad. The seed is retained on the plant well into the winter making it a useful plant for feeding birds, too.
As an ornamental, it’s been used in gardens for hundreds of years—Jefferson grew it at Monticello. It retains color well as it dries, and can be used in dried flower arrangements.