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propagating perennials: Basella rubra-Malabar Spinach
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Basella rubra-Malabar Spinach

Propagating Basella rubra or Malabar Spinach is done by seed, eight weeks before the last frost or by cuttings in late summer overwintering in a greenhouse, will produce a crop in 70 days. This plant, whose leaves are similar to spinach even with the red stems, flourishes in the summer when regular spinach tapers off and tastes similar to spinach and can grow a foot in a week in the tropics. It flowers in early summer, pink/white that turn into purple berries, and the juice is used as food coloring. The vine can grow up to 10 feet and needs an acidic moist well draining soil preferably in full sun. A perennial in Zone 7-10. Dry the purple berries in the fall and plant in the spring.

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