Perennial Vegetables

Okinawa Spinach (Gynura Crepioides / Bicolor; Asteraceae Family)

Plant Common Name(s): Okinawa Spinach, Perennial Spinach
Taxonomy (Binomial Name): Gynura Crepioides / Bicolor; Asteraceae Family
Cultivar / Variety: There is only one variety of this species known. Indonesia Lowers cholesterol, helps prevent cancer and various diseases “Very nutritious eaten raw or cooked. The leaves and young shoot tips are steamed, used in stir fry, tempura, stews, and soups. Try not to overcook it as it can become slimy. It can also be steamed with rice if it is added for the last 7 minutes of cooking time.
In Okinawa the leaves are often fried and served as tempura. This leafy green is also known as cholesterol spinach, and there are many claims that it lowers cholesterol. Young leaves have a much better flavour than the older leaves.

Edible Landscaping: The vivid leaf colour makes this a good choice as a background plant in ornamental beds. Okinawa Spinach can be used in landscaping as a groundcover in full sun (with enough water) or it does well in partial shade. It is very adaptable to container gardening and hanging baskets and will grow inside on a windowsill with good light.” Year round Flowers attract pollinators / Monarch butterflys in spring / fall Keep roots moist & water whenever surface of ground becomes dry. Provide a heavy layer of mulch to retain moisture, reducing overall watering needed. Requires well draining soil rich in organic matter; 6.1-6.5 ph. 1-4 feet tall depending on pruning. 2-6 feet wide (low spreading) Propagate by seed or cuttings. Prefers full or partial sun/shade. Grows great in pots / containers & indoors as a house plant. Hardy in zones 8b-11; frost sensitive. None N/A “Recommended Planting Time: Cuttings are best taken when the soil temperature is at least 25°C. Rooting the cutting in water before planting will improve results. The plant responds well to pruning, rapidly becoming bushy. Pruning also prolongs its life.
Planting Depth: Cuttings 10 – 20 cm long should be half buried in potting mix and kept moist.
Spacing: Space plants at 60 cm apart.” “Okinawa Spinach is a dense, low growing plant to 70 cm high. Easily the most low maintenance perennial leaf vegetable; it is a hardy plant and relatively pest-free. Thriving in warm, wet conditions Okinawa Spinach does best in subtropical and tropical areas; it is sensitive to frost. An attractive plant with shiny leaves that are green on top and purple underneath; the flowers are very small and orange. It grows best in full sun to partial shade. It needs ample water, rich, fertile well-drained soil that is kept mulched and prefers a pH of between 6.1 and 6.5.

This plant will thrive in pretty much any type of soil from clay to silt to sandy soils. It does well in any type of light other than full shade, but will grow best in full sun to partial shade. Okinawa Spinach is not a heavy feeder, and is relatively pest-free. It is good to cut back flowering branches to promote new shoot growth, because the shoots and leaves are what are harvested. Okinawan spinach is very adaptable to container gardening and even grows well on a windowsill. The younger leaves will have a much better flavor than the older leaves. ” ”
The leaves and young shoot tips can be steamed, used in stir fry, tempura, stews, and soups. Just add them at the very end, if they are overcooked they can become slimy.

Complimentary flavors include bacon, pancetta, anchovies, shrimp, crab, lamb, cheese, cream, eggs, garlic, shallots, mustard, mushrooms, water chestnuts, potatoes, raisins, lemon, dill, basil, sorrel, pine nuts, walnuts, sesame (seeds and oil) and soy sauce. ” “Not a true spinach, meaning it is not from the Amaranth family, it is referred to as spinach due to its similar taste, appearance, texture, preparation and uses. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an edible flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae.

Description & Growth Habit: A nutritious and beautiful plant, Okinawa Spinach is a dense, bushy ornamental edible groundcover (or can be trained into a shrub / hedge) that tolerates hot weather unlike true spinach and is easily the most low maintenance perennial leaf vegetable. The shiny leaves are green on top and purple underneath with small, orange flowers providing beautiful asthetics and color/texture to landscapes & gardens. Resembles spinach in taste, texture & uses/preparation (salads or stir-frys) but has a faint, unique hint of lemon, pepper & pine combined. Contains both purple and green pigmented anti-oxidants (eat the rainbow) and is said to help regulate & stabilize cholesterol, blood sugar and promote long life. Once established, pick leaves as needed, encouraging more new growth. A tough sub-tropical plant that is considered a “”tender perennial”” in that it doesn’t tolerate freezing.
” N/A The leaves have a crisp, nutty taste with a faint hint of pine. Young leaves have a much better flavour than the older leaves.
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