Views: 104, Replies: 3 » Jump to the end
As a comment about Malabar Spinach (Basella alba 'Rubra'), wildflowers wrote:

Pretty climbing edible vine. This is not actually a spinach but has similar flavor. The texture is more meaty. Leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked. Use to thicken soups and stir fry’s. The plant has medicinal use and the leaves are used to treat Stomatitis-inflamation of the mucous membrane of the mouth. The fruits mature to a deep purple, it doesn't have any flavor really and makes a good dye in frostings, etc. The seeds can be collected from the ripe fruit, but wil turn your hands purple so I just wash them in a bowl of water, then set out to dry, or sometimes I just let the whole fruit dry out with the seeds - either way is fine. They can also be left on the plant to reseed themself and you will have plants sprouting next year when the weather warms up.
Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
Image
robynanne
Jun 15, 2016 9:24 AM CST
The plant database here has two entries for this plant, I had added my pictures to the other entry, but they are both the same plant. The two entries should be merged.

Malabar has a red stem and green stem variety - so maybe that's why there are two entries?

I love this plant because it tolerates (even loves) hot hot humid days. It has basically no pests in MN that like it, and it grows like crazy! The mucous texture to the leaves is a lot like aloe and is thus a little weird raw in salads, but they can't be beat for cooking. They are especially great when stirred in with things like thai basil or curry.

They are a little hard to get to germinate in MN since they need really warm days. You can be patient and wait for June when it is finally warm enough and they will grow like weeds - or you can start them inside and keep them warm. Once it hits August, the cut fruit tossed on the ground tends to start taking root and growing sprouts all on its own. Speaking of, I was told that if you pinch off all the little seed pods before they get a chance to grow, it keeps the leaves more tender. I don't know if this is true because the work involved in pinching off the seeds, which grow on a 1:1 ratio with the leaves, was more than I was willing to take on.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Jun 15, 2016 9:49 AM CST
Yes, they are two different varieties, alba and rubra.

I agree It does like hot weather!

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Herbs Enjoys or suffers cold winters Tomato Heads Garden Photography
Image
robynanne
Jun 15, 2016 5:35 PM CST
wildflowers said:Yes, they are two different varieties, alba and rubra.

I agree It does like hot weather!



Ah. Then my pictures and such should be moved to the red vine variety. *Blush*

Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Jun 15, 2016 6:22 PM CST
Oh, don't feel bad, it can happen - but I think there is a way you can move them. Let me know if you have trouble. Smiling
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Comment concerning Malabar Spinach (Basella alba 'Rubra')
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Chrysanthemum"