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.