Heirloom Green Malabar Spinach is a unique and flavorful leafy green vegetable that has a long history of cultivation. Originally from India, this ancient vegetable has been enjoyed for centuries by people all over the world, particularly in tropical regions. The "heirloom" designation means that this particular variety of Malabar spinach has been passed down through generations, preserving its unique characteristics and flavor.
Green Malabar spinach is known for its thick, glossy, and juicy leaves that are rich in vitamins and minerals. It has a slightly mucilaginous texture and a slightly sweet and sour taste. It is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron and Calcium. It is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes, from stews, curries, and soups to salads.
The Green Malabar spinach plant is a climbing vine that can grow up to 30 feet tall. It thrives in hot, humid climates and is a hardy plant that is resistant to pests and disease. It can be grown in both full sun and partial shade.
Malabar spinach belongs to Basellaceae family, not the spinach family. The taste is similar to spinach, however this crop is a very warm-season crop unlike standard spinach grown in the Northeastern US. This crop is native to tropical Asia and is extremely heat tolerant.
Malabar spinach / Bachali (native language) is grown throughout the tropics as a perennial and in warmer temperate regions as an annual. There are two main species of Malabar spinach: Basella alba, which has green stems and thick fleshy leaves, and Basella ruba which has red stems.
This is a vine type spinach with vines that can grow longer than 30 feet. With bright green leaves and stem, this edible is often grown as an ornamental. The most beautiful vining edible green you can grow! Green Malabar spinach is a splendid edible ornamental, and it is extremely heat tolerant, providing gobs of nutritious greens while others have succumbed to the heat.
- Malabar spinach will grow well in a variety of soil conditions but prefers a moist fertile soil with plenty of organic matter and a soil pH of between 6.5 and 6.8
- Malabar spinach plants can be grown in part shade, which increases the leaf size, but it much prefers hot, humid and full sun exposures.
- Malabar spinach also needs constant moisture to prevent the blossoming, which will turn the leaves bitter — ideally an area with a warm, rainy climate for optimal Malabar spinach care and growth.
- The vine should have trellis and two plants are sufficient for most families through the summer and fall growing season. It can even be grown up the same trellis as peas, truly utilizing the garden space. Grown as an ornamental edible, the vines can be trained to climb over doorways. To prune Malabar spinach, simply cut the thick, fleshy leaves while retaining some stem.
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