This attractive perennial herb (Gynura crepioides) has half purple, half dark green leaves that make a delicious addition to salads, or can be cooked as a potherb. It propagates well from cuttings, that you must take before winter as the plant will not survive a freeze. Rooting the cutting in water before planting so that it forms good roots improves results.
As with most cuttings, remove all but the top few leaves of a cutting to reduce water loss until it grows new roots. Rooting is very slow in cold weather.
Okinawa lettuce can be used in landscaping as a groundcover in full sun (with enough water) or it does well in partial shade. It needs little, but does appreciate some soil amending/fertilizing.
It can be cooked like spinach – but don’t overcook it as it can become unpleasantly slimy.
Click on the Recipes link for some great ideas for cooking it!
More photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=okinawa%20spinach
pdf – Okinawa spinach information sheet (
to print out).