New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides)

New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) is a species of leafy groundcover in the family Aizoaceae, native to New Zealand. It is commonly known as Sea Spinach, Tetragon, Cook's Cabbage, Warrigal Greens, Kokihi, and Botany Bay Spinach. It is a perennial grown as a warm-weather tender annual. It can tolerates high temperatures and is killed by a frost. Maori is the most commonly grown variety.

New Zealand Spinach, 30 cm tall and 60 cm or more wide, is a low-growing, weak-stemmed leafy plant, cultivated for its edible leaves. It can be used as a groundcover or as food. The leaves are 5-10 cm long, alternate, succulent, oval- to triangular-shaped, and pale to dark green color. The leaves are smaller and fuzzier than those of regular spinach, however, their flavor and texture are similar. Due to high oxalate content, the leaves need to be blanched in hot water for three minute, then rinsing in cold water before cooking. New Zealand Spinach has small yellow flowers and conical capsules containing seeds.

New Zealand Spinach grows well in full sun, moisture-retentive, well-drained soil that are rich in organic matter, and a pH of 6.8-7.0. Propagation is by seeds. Soak the seeds overnight in water to speed germination. It will be ready for harvest 55-65 days after sowing. For best flavor, cut young leaves and tender leaf tips. This type of harvest will encourage new growth and a longer harvest. The leaves and tips can be used raw or cooked.

New Zealand Spinach is high in vitamin A, B1, B2, C, and low in fat and fiber.

New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides)Catedral de Brasilia
Author: Kurt Stuber (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

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