September 13, 2009
If you're looking for something a little different from the regular 'ole spinach, check out this red-stemmed Malabar spinach. This beautiful vine, Basella alba,is no relation to true spinach, but has a somewhat similar texture and taste. Malabar spinach also prefers warmer temperatures and so can be grown in late spring, summer and early fall, when it's too warm for regular spinach. This is a fast growing vine will quickly cover a trellis or arbor and it has pretty little white blooms. You can eat it fresh in salad or cook like any other green. It won't tolerate a hard frost so you'll plant new ones next spring. When the Malabar spinach is finished, your true spinach should be maturing for the cool season. Perfect timing!