New Zealand Spinach

New Zealand Spinach


(Tetragonia tetragonioides)

A tasty, leafy greens plant hailing from the sandy shorelines of New Zealand, Australia, and East Asia with thick, velvety leaves and a slightly salty and nutty flavor. It is tolerant of salty soils, hot weather, and drought. New Zealand spinach grows as a trailing mat, up to 1 ½ feet tall, and can crawl up through surrounding vegetation. It has vivid green, triangular, slightly rough leaves and small yellow flowers that are followed by large horned seeds. It grows as a perennial in warm climates and as an annual in frost areas.

Like spinach (Spinacea oleracea) New Zealand spinach contains low to medium levels of oxalates (a problematic compound for those who suffer from gout or kidney stones), which can be removed by blanching before use in cooking. Soak the leaves and tender stem tips in hot water for 1 to 2 minutes and then rinse them in cold water and this should remove a large portion of the oxalates. Can be eaten raw in low to moderate quantities by those not sensitive to oxalates.

Seeds germinate well when soaked overnight in water then direct sown ½ an inch deep in a prepared seedbed after last frost. The plants will seed themselves in and come up as volunteers in at least USDA hardiness zone 6a or warmer in our experience. Seeds may survive the winter in the ground in colder areas as well.

Packet: 50 seeds

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