Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kitchen Garden 2012 ~ Malabar Spinach

Malabar--June 2012
Something new to my garden this year! Red Stemmed Malabar spinach (Basella alba 'Rubra'), also know as Ceylon spiach, Indian spinach, Vine spinach and Malabar nightshade, has no relation to common garden spinach and it isn't a member of the nightshade family. What is it?--It's a heat-loving, great-tasting (spinach alternative) and an attractive addition to the kitchen garden! It has thrived in the record high temperatures that my Midwest garden has had this season--in fact it seems to have appreciated the heat and drought!

The leaves can be harvested and used similar to spinach... in salads, quiches, sandwiches,stir-fries etc. Nutritionally, it has high levels of vitamins A,B, & C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, and decent amounts of Iron and copper.

Malabar--August 2012









Malabar grows as a perennial in the tropics, but will reseed easily in cooler gardening zones. Small pink/violet blooms turn into dark berries that can be left to dry on the vine then harvested (as seeds) in the fall and saved to sew directly into the garden soil the following spring,--but the vine will reseed vigorously and seedlings can be easily collected and transplanted.



11 comments:

  1. The Malabar spinach has pretty blossoms. Looks like you're one who is willing to try new things:)

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  2. I will surely love to taste your spinach:)

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  3. Pretty garden! Good looking spinach :)

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  4. What a gorgeous plant. I'd like to add more edibles. This migh be a good one for fall planting.

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  5. We used to have some vines growing years ago. Its is yummmy when added to anchovy-based soup with salted eggs.

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  6. Wow a climbing Spinach! It'll save some ground space for me for next year. Thanks for the tip Becks!

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  7. Nice photographs, plants are giving much joy. I am greeting

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  8. Malibar spinach is a very pretty plant. I may just have to try this one if I can grow it in the Northwest.

    Yael from Home Garden Diggers

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  9. I love the Malibar Spinach plant. Two years ago I had some planted in a pot outside on my deck. I brought it into the house over winter (zone 3 here... very cold) and it did wonderfully! I snipped and ate off of it until spring:)

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  10. This is a good choice for the herb garden.

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  11. I've been wanting to give this plant a try...I think it will do well in my sub-tropical zone, and your garden is lovely.

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