AKA: Red Stem Malabar, Vietnamese Spinach, Red Vine Spinach, Phooi Leaf, Indian Spinach, Alugbati, Ceylon Spinach.
Red Malabar Spinach could be the most beautiful edible green to ever grace your garden! This heat-loving green is not a true spinach, far from it. It is a subtropical vine grows easily to 10 feet and thrives in intense heat when other greens fail. Incredibly productive, the vines produce large amounts of edible greens, shouts, tiny flowers and deep purple berries.
In Asia where this plant originates, people harvest the tender shouts for stir fries and to add to soups or salads. The purple berries are fairly bland in taste, but their color is used to dye food and fabric. The entire plant is high in anthocyanin, the same antioxidant that is found in blueberries and other health-promoting fruits and berries.
Although it is not frost tolerant, it is perennial in Zones 10 or higher. Easy to propagate from cuttings for an endless supply of this wonderful heat-loving green.
Try it, you won’t regret it!
Tip: soak seeds in warm water and rub off pulp to increase germination rate and speed. Once established, plants are almost care-free!
- Basella rubra
- Days to Harvest: 70
- Seed packet contains a minimum of 35 seeds