Surinam Spinach, Waterleaf /Talinum Triangulare/
Surinam Spinach is a short-lived, perennial plant with succulent stems 30-80cm tall growing from swollen, fleshy roots.
It has small pink flowers and fleshy green leaves.
The crunchy, tangy, nutritious leaves can be eaten raw in salads or lightly cooked as a green vegetable in stir-fries.
Grows best in the tropics but will grow in a warm sheltered position in the subtropics.
It prefers a moderate to rich loam and to be kept moist.
Plant in partial shade.
Propagate from seeds or cuttings in Spring/Summer.
Take cuttings 25cm long, strip the leaves off the bottom half of the stems and bury to half their length and keep moist.
Plant 60cm apart.
Risks and weed potential
Surinam Spinach is a mucilaginous vegetable with high calcium oxalate content so should not be eaten raw.
It self-sows readily so care should be taken to avoid it becoming invasive.
Harvesting & Processing
Keep the plant productive by harvesting the top 5cm from each stem.
This promotes growth and keeps the plant compact.
Young leaves are the most tender.