Okinawa spinach

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

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!

https://edibleplantproject.org/okinawa-spinach-and-grits/

9 thoughts on “Okinawa spinach”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Thank you for the information. I have been growing it for a few years now here in northern Florida, and it does great, even surviving the occasional freeze in the winter. I have only had it raw so far in salads, but I will try sautéing it, as well as the tempura. Keep the recipes coming, please!

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