New Zealand Spinach-40 Seeds

New Zealand Spinach-40 Seeds


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Tetragonia Expansa- New Zealand Spinach is a very old heirloom introduced into England in 1772 by Sir Joseph Banks. It was reportedly discovered during the South Seas expedition of Captain Cook.  The crew ate it to combat survey on their voyage. This spinach-like plant thrives in hot dry weather. Small broad pointed leaves develop on large, spreading plants and tender leafy shoots. Due to oxalates in the leaves, blanch the leaves in hot water for at least a minute followed by cold water rinsing.  Discard the water leaves should not be eaten raw. New Zealand Spinach tolerates salty soils.

New Zealand Spinach is a tender perennial and killed by frost. In our gardens in Rocky View, AB we have found the New Zealand Spinach to self-seed though not prolifically. In spring we simply lift the young “volunteer” plants when they have two sets of true leaves and plant where desired.

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Quick Facts

  • Open-pollinated

  • Technically not a spinach

  • Blanch leaves before use

  • Thick spinach tasting leaves

  • Partial shade inproves flavour

  • Killed by frost

Soak seeds for 12-24 hours before planting.  New Zealand spinach seeds need lots of heat to germinate so start inside or wait until May or June to seed outside.  So seeds 15 mm deep and 3-5 cm apart, with rows being 30-45 cm apart. Thin seedlings to 20 cm after germination. Plants grow all summer long and can handle hot dry periods. Add compost by top-dressing once seedlings have two or more sets of true leaves. Germination takes 10-15 days and matures in 55 days.

It is not related to true spinach but the leaves taste similar to spinach. It is highly valued because of its high vitamin A & C content.

New Zealand spinach can be used like common spinach in a variety of applications; sauteed, steamed, or braised



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