Quinoa (Latin: Chenopodium quinoa) is an annual flowering plant of the Amaranthaceae family. There are roughly 120 known varieties which differ in size and colour. The plant grows approximately 1-2 meters tall with a central woody stem and broad hairy leaves.
Quinoa grows best in full sun, regular water, and well-drained, fertile soil. Optimal growing conditions are in cool climates. Quinoa is ready for harvest in 90-120 days.
Quinoa originated in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. Cultivation began in the South American Andes as a staple food. Moreover, it is considered sacred, and has even been called the mother grain by the Incas, an American Indian people.
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