Okinawa spinach (Gynura crepioides)

This attractive perennial herb 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-spinach-leaves3 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 at our website to get some great ideas for cooking it! pdf – Okinawa spinach information sheet to print out

6 comments to Okinawa spinach (Gynura crepioides)

  • Carol Mercer

    I tasted this for the first time while on a trip to Hawaii – It was thriving in a private yard, climbing a palm tree! Absolutely DELICIOUS!

  • The leaves are often battered and fried served as tempura here in Okinawa.

  • Shreela

    I have a shaded area in between my house and our large oak. Since it’s close to the house, it doesn’t flood as deeply as the front of the yard. I bet this would grow good there, since it gets morning and evening sun.

  • Herbert K Kay

    I would like to know how can i get the Okinawan Recipes on health and longevity and cancer fighting recipes

  • indira

    I had this tasty plant in Maui, and have had cravings for it nonstop since ‘ve left. Once the aina gets in you- it won’t leave

  • TropicBob

    This is my new favorite vegetable. I steam it with rice (last 7 minutes) and eat it with the rice- delicious. It grows great here in South Florida and is attractive.

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