An Overview of New Zealand Spinach
A flowering plant in the fig-marigold family, Tetragonia tetragonioides is commonly known as New Zealand spinach and other local names. Leafy vegetables are often cultivated from this plant. The species can be found in eastern Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. New Zealand spinach is sometimes referred to as an 'ice plant' because of its succulent leaves.
More to love in New Zealand Spinach:
- This leafy vegetable grows well in New Zealand.
- Young spinach has a similar flavour to common spinach
- When fully mature, it becomes bitter and acrid
- The same as common spinach, it can be eaten raw, sautéed, steamed, or braised
Benefits of New Zealand Spinach
Add in stuffing chicken or pork, sauté and combine with cheeses and herbs. Use in salads or as a bed for meats and fish. New Zealand spinach enhances calcium absorption in the body by balancing calcium to phosphorus levels. The low protein, carbohydrates, and calories in New Zealand spinach make it a nutritious addition to your diet.
How to Sow and Care for New Zealand Spinach
Annual warm-weather spinach, New Zealand spinach grows best between 16 and 24°C. The seeds should be planted 5-10cm apart and 12mm deep and should be sown in early spring before the average last frost. Start New Zealand spinach indoors two to three weeks before the last frost date for transplanting later in the spring. True spinach is frost-hardy, but New Zealand spinach is not. It should be planted in the warm season when regular spinach will not grow. Although it will tolerate drought, the leaves will not grow as tender as normal spinach.
The soil in which New Zealand spinach grows should be moist, well-drained, and rich in organic matter. The spinach in New Zealand is weak-stemmed and appears to trail through the garden. Place plants in hills similar to squash. Before planting, add well-aged compost to planting beds. Plant the spinach in areas with intense summer heat so it gets partial shade in the afternoon.
Note: This Overview is intended as a guide only since cultural practices and climatic conditions may vary.
- Product: New Zealand Spinach
- Scientific name: Tetragonia tetragonioides
- Higher classification: Tetragonia
- Family: Aizoaceae
- Rank: Species
- Sowing Depth: 2.5 cm
- Planting Season: Spring
- Sunlight Requirement: Full Sun
- Soil Type: Moist
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