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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