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Okinawa spinach

This attractive perennial green leafy vegetable (Gynura bicolor) has half purple, half dark green leaves that make a delicious addition to salads. It can be cooked like spinach – but don’t overcook it as it can become unpleasantly slimy. Gently steamed or stir fried is best!

It propagates well from cuttings: you must take the cuttings before winter as the plant will not survive a freeze. 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. Rooting the cutting in water first so that it forms good roots before planting in order to improve results.

Okinawa lettuce can be used in landscaping as a ground cover in full sun or it does well in partial shade. It only needs a little soil amending/fertilizing from time to time. It doesn’t need a lot of water but it does need some – especially if planted in full sun.

More information: http://hihort.blogspot.com/2013/04/okinawan-spinach-gynura-bicolor.html

There are some cooking tips in the comments below and also some recipes here.

More photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=okinawa%20spinach

pdf – Okinawa spinach information sheet (to print out).

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