I was at our local seed store and found out about this interesting new plant - the climbing or vine spinach. There are two varieties, the green or red vine version.
Since it originates from East Asia, it’s also known as Malabar spinach, Indian spinach, or Ceylon spinach.
Not only is it edible, but it makes for pretty landscaping with it’s climbing vines and flowers.
One gardener also mentioned that this plant is a true and fast climber. Especially with the weather gets really hot.
I will try to grow them in container with a trellis in a nice sunny spot. And maybe plant one seedling in mom’s garden to surprise her. I think they will do well in our northern California summer.
I can only imagine how neat it would be to have fresh endless spinach salads all summer. And the fact that the stems are soft and edible sounds amazing.
Here’s some interesting info I gathered about this neat plant from Cornell University Vegetable Growing Guide:
“The leaves from this heat-loving vine have a mild flavor and are used like spinach in salads and cooking.
Annual plant but is perennial in frost-free areas. Extremely frost-sensitive. It creeps when temperatures are cool, but leaps when the mercury hits 90 F.
Part shade increases leaf size. But prefers hot weather and full sun. Requires trellis or other support for twining vine. Can follow peas up the same trellis.
Grows well in a wide range of soils, but prefers moist, fertile soils, high in organic matter, pH 6.5 to 6.8. Tolerates damp soil. Requires consistent moisture to keep from flowering, which causes leaves to turn bitter.
How to plant:
Propagate by seed, cuttings
Germination temperature: 65 F to 75 F
Days to emergence: 14 to 21 - Scarify (use a file, sharp knife or sandpaper to carefully cut through the tough seed coat) seed to hasten germination. May take 3 weeks or more.
Seed can be saved 4 years.”
Note: It’s not truly spinach and comes from the Basellaceae Family. The family comprises some two dozen species of herbaceous plants, some with climbing habits.
Photo from Wikipedia.