Climbing Spinach, Indian Spinach, Malabar Spinach
3 - decent flavor
Requires a well-drained moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter and a warm sunny sheltered position. Prefers a sandy loam. Tolerates fairly poor soils but does much better in rich soils. Tolerates high rainfall. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 7. A frost-tender perennial, it is not hardy outdoors in Britain but can be grown as a spring-sown annual. A fast growing plant, capable of producing a crop within 70 days from seed in a warm climate[200, 264], though it requires a minimum daytime temperature of 15°c if it is to keep growing vigorously so it seldom does well outdoors in Britain. It does tolerate low light levels plus night temperatures occasionally falling below 10°c, and so can do well in a cold greenhouse. Plants do not flower if the length of daylight is more than 13 hours per day. Widely cultivated for its edible leaves in the tropics, there are some named varieties. It is an excellent hot weather substitute for spinach. Some authorities recognize three different species, B. alba, B. rubra and B. cordifolia, they are all treated here as being part of one species[K].
Seed - sow March or April in a warm greenhouse. The seed requires a minimum temperature of 18 - 21°c in order to germinate, it germinates within 10 - 21 days at 20°c, pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water shortens the germination time. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots of fairly rich compost and grow them on fast, planting them out after the last expected frosts. Stem cuttings. These can be taken in the late summer, overwintered in a greenhouse and then be planted out in late spring or early summer.
Drought tolerant: Maybe
Other Uses: dye
Medicinal Uses: Antidote, Aperient, astringent, Calcium, Demulcent, Diuretic, febrifuge, Laxative, Rubefacient, Vitamin A, Vitamin C
Flood tolerant: Maybe
Zone hardiness: 10