Photo Credit: Burpee

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Interesting Facts

On the tops and bottoms of the New Zealand Spinach, there are hairs that give the leaves a look as though they are covered with water drops. These plants have to withstand high salt soils, since they are halophytes (a halophyte is a plant that can withstand relatively high concentrations of salts in the soil). The "water droplet" hairs are actually ways that the plants can sequester some of those salts away from the living and photosynthesizing tissues.

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New Zealand Spinach   (Tetragonia tetragonoides)

Heat resistant, vine-like plants produce abundant fleshy, brittle green leaves and young stem tips. Resembles spinach and has a similar flavor. Use all summer until frost. Ready to harvest 70 days after sowing seed directly in the garden.

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Plant Types: Annual, Vegetable
Light: Partial Shade to Full Sun
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1 foot to 2 feet
Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Seasons: Mid spring, Late spring, Early summer, Mid summer, Late summer, Early fall
Special Features: Edible
Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
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Plant Care

Before planting, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.  Plant outside after the last threat of frost has passed, or plant indoors in winter and then move them outside after the last threat of frost has passed.


Harvestable leaves will be available within 2 to 3 weeks after sprouting and should continue to provide a crop through summer.

NOTE: The leaves have a high concentration of oxalate, which can upset the stomach.  To remove the toxic compound, blanch the leaves in hot water for 1 minute, then rinse with cold water before cooking the greens.

Soil and Irrigation:

Provide constantly moist soil.