This species of Malabar spinach (Basella rubra, also known as Basella alba var. rubra) produces vining, magenta-red stems that carry an abundance of glossy deep green to red-tinged green leaves. The pink flowers are followed by fleshy-coated black seeds, but it’s really the foliage that makes this plant worth growing. The vigorous, twining stems of this heat- and drought-tolerant vine grow quickly and can cover a good-sized trellis, arbor, or wire fence. Best of all, the fleshy, edible leaves provide a bountiful harvest all through summer to frost. They have a somewhat spinach-like flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked. Full sun to light shade. Annual.
Malabar spinach may self-sow, possibly to the point of being problematic in very mild climates. Unless you want to save the seeds, keep the flower clusters pinched off to encourage more leaf production.
Collected in early September 2021. At least 12 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.