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.
2021-collected seeds sold out. I hope to collect again in early September 2022. At least 12 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.