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Common Name: New Zealand Spinach
Tetragonia tetragonoides is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Australia - South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales. New Zealand.
Coastal sand dunes and stony beaches on North South and Stewart Islands of New Zealand[
]. Sheltered beaches, salt marshes and arid plains in Australia[
Easily grown in the garden[
], it prefers a light soil in a sunny position[
] and thrives in dry soils[
]. It grows best in a good rich soil[
]. Once established, the plants tolerate drought[
]. Plants are very tolerant of hot, dry conditions but cannot tolerate frost[
]. Although very drought tolerant, the plants produce a better quality crop if they are given some water in dry weather[
New Zealand spinach is occasionally cultivated in gardens for its edible leaves, it is an excellent spinach substitute for hot dry weather conditions[
]. A perennial plant in its native habitat, but it is usually killed by the cold in British winters and so is grown as an annual[
]. In the Tropics it is occasionally cultivated in the cool season as a spinach[
Leaves - raw or cooked. A spinach substitute[
], the shoot tips are harvested when about 8cm long, this encourages plenty of side growth with lots more shoots to harvest[
]. A delicious substitute for spinach, the very young leaves and shoots can also be eaten raw in salads[
]. The young leaves are best, older leaves developing an acrid taste.
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frost[
Seed can also be sown in situ in late spring, though this will not generally make such good plants[
The seed can be slow to germinate, soaking in warm water for 24 hours prior to sowing may help[