Quinoa is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. As a member of the Amaranthaceae family, it is related to and resembles amaranth, which is also a pseudocereal.
The taxonomic classification is:
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Caryophyllales
- Family: Amaranthaceae
- Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
- Genus: Chenopodium
- Specie: Chenopodium quinoa Willd.
Because of its high nutritional value, indigenous peoples and researchers often refer to it as "The golden 'grain' of the Andes"