Name Variations Edit
- New Zealand ice plant
About New Zealand Spinach Edit
Wikipedia Article About New Zealand Spinach on Wikipedia
Tetragonia is a genus of 50 – 60 species of flowering plants in the family Aizoaceae, native to temperate and subtropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere, in New Zealand, Australia, southern Africa and South America. Common names include New Zealand Spinach, Kokihi (Maori language), Warrigal Greens, Sea Spinach, Botany Bay Spinach, Duneweed (South Africa), and Cook's Cabbage.
The genus, widely used by Maori and other indigenous people as a vegetable, was first mentioned by Captain Cook. It was immediately picked, cooked, and pickled to help fight scurvy, and taken with the crew. It spread when the explorer and botanist Joseph Banks took a viable plant back to London during the latter half of the 19th century.
The species prefer a moist environment for growth. The plant grows flat on the ground. The leaves of the plant are 3-15 cm long, triangular in shape and bright green. The leaves are thick, and covered with tiny papillae that look like waterdrops on the top and bottom of the leaves. The flowers of the plant are yellow, and the fruit is a small, hard pod covered with small horns. The plant is a halophyte and grows well in saline ground. It will continue to produce greens from May to October.
This plant, brought to England by Captain Cook, looks and tastes like spinach. Its leaves are covered with minute dots that reflect the sun.