Tree spinach has eye-catching bright magenta leaves with almost sparkly growing tips. Plants can grow up to 2m tall, hence the name Tree spinach. This vigorous plant can be harvested as a cut and come again leaf from 25cm tall. Easy to grow, adds columns of height and colour to the veg garden.
Yields are high and the plants aren’t particularly fussy, though they’re prettiest in a sunny spot. It’s best not to eat the leaves more than a couple of times a week and to avoid plants growing on recently manured or fertilised soils, as plants accumulate high levels of nitrates, which can be harmful.
The small outrageously pink leaves will add a bit of glamour to any salad. . Young leaves can be used fresh in salads. The larger leaves can be cooked as spinach (with much less shrinkage), and dressed with a sprinkling of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice, is a great veg to accompany many a summer meal.
Plants are also related to quinoa, so when they flower and go to seed in August-October, the grains can be dried and saved for baking.