Edible gardening guide

How to grow delicious vegetables, herbs, and fruit at home

8 global crops for your edible garden

Goodbye, peas and carrots—try growing these unusual, and lesser-known, vegetables

Malabar spinach

Malabar spinach

Basella alba

Origin: India and Bangladesh

Definition: Actually not a spinach, Malabar spinach is a perennial vine that thrives in high temps. 

Synonyms: Creeping spinach, climbing spinach, or red-leaf spinach

Uses: Raw, the thick leaves have hints of citrus and pepper. Cooked, the leaves taste a lot like spinach but hold up better braised or in soups.

Grow it: Frost won’t kill it, but cool temps will slow it down. It prefers heat, especially temps around 90°. Gorgeous enough for ornamental value, Malabar benefits from a trellis for the tendrils to climb. It can be invasive though, so clean it up occasionally. Buy seeds from Kitazawa Seed Company.

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