Malabar Spinach: Heat tolerant leafy green

June 17, 2013

For those of us that live in warm climates, we can't grow things like spinach and tomatoes at the same time....we actually have to split our edible growing seasons into "winter" and "summer". Spinach and other leafy greens thrive from fall through winter, but quickly bolt as our summer heat comes on. So how do you manage to keep in fresh leafy greens from the garden year round? Look for alternatives to the cool season greens; like Malabar Spinach.

Malabar spinach1

This beautiful warm-season vine produces fleshy edible spinach-like leaves on purple stems all summer long. Now, it doesn't taste exactly like spinach, but that might be a bonus to some at it has a milder flavor. You can use it just the same as you would spinach; by cooking older leaves and using small young leaves in fresh salads. Not to mention, it's a beautiful ornamental. I grow mine on decorative trellises or other supports.

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