Two kinds of amaranth — Elephant Head and Love Lies Bleeding — are causing a stir in the Campus Garden. Aside from being a beautiful addition, the leaves and the grain are edible (tasting like a sweeter, nuttier spinach). Thanks to librarian Melissa Platkowski for digging into the question, and for campus gardener Tyler Delsart who provided the answer.
More on the plant in an NPR story here. Thanks to Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Associate Director Vicki Medland for sharing this link.