Malabar Spinach

55 days. A fabulous heat-loving vine from the tropics, Malabar Spinach stands up to 90°F-plus heat without wilting and perishing like most other greens. Its leaves may be used as a fresh baby leaf in salads or cooked like regular Spinach in stir-fries, creamed concoctions and soups. AKA Creeping Spinach, Malabar Spinach is as versatile as it is strange. High in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and protein per calorie, this Basella is a good source of soluble fiber and an effective thickening agent for Asian soups and curries. In cool weather, its growth slows to a crawl, but in hot weather it sprints along supportive structures at an amazing clip. Normally raised as an annual, it may perennialize in frost free areas. Plant it in the warmest spot possible with full sunlight, rich, well-draining soil and a supportive structure on which to train its prolific vines. It should be evenly watered to inhibit bolting and to keep its thick, red-stemmed, verdant-green leaves from becoming bitter. (Its foliage and form is almost as beautiful as a Climbing Hydrangea if you want to create mixed ornamental/edible beds.)

One packet of about 100 seeds
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