Silver cockscomb can be a stunning yet invasive plant that is a nuisance. If it is not controlled, it will spread rapidly and impede its growth in other plants, which can affect the yield of other crops. It can also attract caterpillars, insects, moths, worms, and worms, which can cause damage to crops.

In Karnataka’s Chamarajanagara district in Karnataka, where silver Cockscomb is known as ann soppu, the farmers of the Soliga tribe claim that removing the weed could cost as much as 22,000 rupees per an acre (0.4 hectare) annually. But they do not consider silver Cockscomb to be a herbicide.

For the Soligas they are famous for their ecological knowledge Silver cockscomb is an nutritious green leafy vegetable which thrives on land that has been left fallow and under drought-like conditions.

Also known as lagos kale, this weed is part of the Amaranthaceae family that includes important economically-important plants such as spinach (Spinacia Oleracea) beetroot, quinoa, and beetroot. The plant is referred to by the name of Celosia argentea in the scientific lexicon, kurdu in Marathi and pannai keerai in Tamil.

Silver cockscomb can be a brief-lived 50–60 cm tall plant with simple, spirally-arranged leaves around the stem that are adorned with white or pinkish flowers. Since it is a common sight in the fields of America, Most farmers utilize the plant to feed their livestock. However, similar to those of the Soliga tribe, a few communities also eat it as the leafy vegetables.

Healthy add-on

Female members from the Soliga tribe gather edible leaves and silvery shoots that are young Cockscomb to make massanne, also known as a mash that is consumed just prior to it gets into the monsoon (April through June) to reduce the body’s temperature and lessen stomach burn, which usually is caused by indigestion.

Basamma, a 58-year-old Soliga tribal woman hailing from Annehola village in the Male Mahadeshwara Hills of Chamarajanagara prefers eating the green during the wet season that runs from July through December, during which the plant is in abundant quantities.

The silver Cockscomb is used for making the Allsopp sambar that her family loves with rice or roti and Ragi balls. Soliga is a Soliga community also utilizes the young shoots and leaves of the plant to prepare palya as a side dish that is cooked with chickpeas, field beans, cowpeas or pigeon peas (see the recipes).

Researchers have, in recent years, discovered evidence of the health advantages of this plant. In 2018 scientists of Vijayanagara Sri Krishna Devaraya University, Ballari, Karnataka studied the antibacterial properties of the silver Cockscomb that grows in the Koppal district in Karnataka and discovered that its root and stem extracts protect against pathogens that cause microbial infections.

The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. It is published by the World Vegetable Center, a Taiwan-based non-profit institute that focuses on research and development of vegetables. Silver cockscomb leaves are abundant in nutrients like beta-carotene and folic acid and also have “medium” levels of vitamin E as well as calcium and iron.

While it’s part of the same family of spinach as it is, however, it doesn’t present the same danger to kidneys. Spinach leaves are loaded with calcium, oxalates (calcium), potassium and vitamin K which may affect kidney function and result in formation of kidney stones.

As a contrast, leaves of silver Cockscomb contain lower levels of Oxalic acid (0.2 percent) in addition to phytic acids (0.12 percent) According to the World Vegetable Center.

The plant is commonly utilized as a the traditional Chinese and Indian treatment of eye ulcers and eye diseases. Researchers from China looked over studies on the plant and discovered that the seeds contain an edible oil that can be effective in treating diseases like bloodshot eyes and cataracts. This study has been published by the journal Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia in 2016.

Although scientists are discovering the advantages of silver cockscomb today, communities across the globe have long recognized its benefits and usage. The earliest evidence suggests that it originated in the tropical region of Africa according to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, silver Cockscomb is found abundantly throughout South as well as Southeast Asia, Latin America as well as parts in the US as well as Australia.

People in these areas use this as an indigenous plant as fodder, and also in medicinal uses. Documenting and examining their ancestral knowledge can provide this weed with the look of as a superfood.



  • Silver Cockscomb: 2 bowls of fresh leaves and a young shoots, chopped and cleaned
  • Garlic: 3 cloves
  • Dry chillies: 2-3 in the order you prefer.
  • Onion 1. Small
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oil 2 tablespoons
  • Tamarind: 1, lemon-sized
  • Salt: To taste
  • Paneer: cubes of fried paneer, to be used


Cook the tender, clean stems as well as the leaves from silver cockscomb in salt and water. Mash the cooked ingredients with garlic before mixing it with the tamarind water. Mix the mixture with mustard seeds oil, and chopped onion. If you prefer, paneer pieces that have been fried are able to be made into the masaanne curry. Serve with rice, roti, or Ragi balls.



  • Silver Cockscomb: 2 bowls of fresh leaves and a new shoots cut and cleaned
  • Field beans/chickpeas/cowpea/pigeon peas: 40 g
  • Garlic: 3 cloves
  • Red chillies: 1 to 2, depending on the preference
  • Onion 1. Small
  • Oil 2 tablespoons
  • Tamarind: 1, lemon sized
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt: To taste


Cook the tender shoots as well as leafy Cockscomb leaves the chosen legume or bean in a small amount of water and salt. Remove the water. In a pan, heat the mustard seeds with chillies and oil, then followed by onions and garlic. Add the cooked beans and leaves to the pan. Add the tamarind water and cook for a couple of minutes. The palya can be served as a side dish with any dinner.