Chenopodium Giganteum or Tree Spinach
Tree Spinach is an amazing plant that grows up to 2m. The leaves have a red tinge. Most unusual and attractive. You may grow it more as a curiosity than as a vegetable.
It has been grown in Mexico for hundreds of years and is originally from India.
A fast growing architectural curiosity. Vivid pink tinged/magenta triangular bright green leaves with each new set of leaves blushed a deep magenta. You can eat the shoot tips of the plant although we grow it mainly for its beauty.
Harvest it, as you would with cut-and-come-again baby salad leaves, snip away the shoots once they get to around 20cm (8in) high, leaving the lowest few centimetres to grow on. It can be eaten very young raw in salads and is a good spinach substitute.
Sow directly. Surface sow in rows onto prepared soil which has been raked to a fine tilth.
Allow 5-15cm spacing. Just cover seed with a sprinkling of soil. Germination takes 3-7 days.
Can be started early indoors Jan-Mar approx.
Plant in well drained soil in a sunny but sheltered spot. Keep well watered until established and in dry weather. In the right conditions Tree Spinach can grow very quickly and reach up to 2m tall, flower heads must be removed otherwise you will have them growing everywhere. It will die back over winter but will re-grow again in spring.