The delicious Malabar spinach is a perennial vine found in the tropics (annual in cooler climates) where it is widely used as a leaf vegetable. High in vitamin A, B and iron. It is not actually related to spinach at all. It is a heat-loving, veining, perennial plant with heart-shaped leaves from the tropics and sub-tropics, used as a spinach alternative. The edible leaves (and shoots) of Basella rubra resemble spinach with a mild, slightly peppery flavor with a hint of citrus and are used in the same way. The young leaves and shoots can be eaten raw mixed in a green salad, and steamed or boiled to be used like cooked spinach. The flowers are edible too, and are best eaten raw as a salad topping or food decoration.
In addition to being edible it can also be grown as an ornamental foliage vine or as a houseplant. Does well in containers too. Leaves can be harvested year round. That's why you wont be able find it at the grocery store. 9-12ft. 40-60 days
Other Names: Indian spinach, Ceylon spinach, vine spinach, and climbing spinach, Pak Plang in Tha, Huang Ti Chai, Phooi leaf, Red Vine spinach, Climbing spinach, Alabati, Vietnamese Spinach, Creeping spinach, Philippine Spinach, Asian Spinach, rau mồng tơi.