BASELLA ALBA L. - CEYLON SPINACH.
Basella rubra, Basella cordifolia.
Tsuru murasa kai, ceylon spinach, indian spinach, malabar spinach, gendola, genjerot, vine spinach, remayong, saan choy, Surinam spinach, poi, Malabar-nightshade, Úpinard de Malabar, Malabarspinat, Indischer Spinat, Baselle blanche, Wycwiklin bialy, Ceylonspinazie, Oostindische spinazie, Espinaca blanca de Malabar, Espinaca basela, Indischer Spinat, Saag, Bassella bianca, Indisk spenat .
Basellaceae (Madeira vine family).
Orinally from India;this is a very common, fast growing vegetable in Suriname; grown as a perennial.
Ceylon spinach is a tender and fast growing, climbing tropical vine; growing up to 12 feet tall.
It has thick heart shaped leaves and white flowers and is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium; also a good source of chlorophyll.
They have a succulent mucilage (a thick gluey substance produced by most plants) that is uses as a thickener in soups.
Only the leaves and young stems are eaten; they are used in salads or steamed with tofu and ginger.
The taste is similar to spinach.
The fruits contain a red dye that has been used for official seals; this dye has also been used as rouge rouge on the skin of the face and as a food color.
The variety Basella rubra has red flowers and a bright purple- red stem; both alba and rubra are edible but the green leaved cultivars that are commercially cultivated, belong to the Basella alba.
USDA zone 9 - 11.
Full sun / light shade; plant outdoors after last expected frost.
It can be grown as a spring-sown annual as high as zone 7.
Tolerates high rainfall and is extremely heat tolerant; pH 4.5 - 7.0.
The soil must be rich and well drained.
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