Botanical name: Talinum triangulare
Some other names: Waterleaf, Surinam purslane, Ceylon spinach
How to grow it: Naturally grows in the tropics, but has a fairly wide climate range. Certainly grows well in my cooler sub-tropical climate. Copes well with dry periods but responds well to water – the leaves have a more tender flavour in rainy season
Surinam spinach is perennial and dies down in the cooler months. It’s frost tender – so may need to be treated as an annual in cooler climates.
Handles sun OK, but definitely likes the shade better. Great understory plant for trees.
Propagates really easily from stem cuttings as soon as danger of frost has passed. Once you have it established, it will self-seed quite easily but I wouldn’t consider it invasive as the seedlings are so easy to remove.
Awesome plant for pots – will tolerate quite a bit of neglect and doesn’t get too rootbound. You might need to move it to a protected position for cold winters.
Nutrients: A rich source of protein, vitamin C, vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, & β-carotene,. Surinam spinach is also widely used in traditional medicine
Using it in the kitchen:
Fresh leaves make a tasty addition to salads, sandwiches, juices or smoothies. The pink flowers are edible and can be used in salads.
Also used as spinach, in stir fries or omelettes. Wilts really well when added at the last minute to cooked dishes.
Not a bad plant to have in a pot right near the back door – if you like it you’ll want to use it often.
Great survival plant as it’s a hardy perennial, self seeds easily & is so versatile in the kitchen.