New Zealand Spinach

Tetragonia tetragoniodes
New Zealand spinach on a farm in Costa Rica.
New Zealand spinach on a farm in Costa Rica. (Photo by Frank Mangan)

Introduction

New Zealand spinach, as its name implies, is indigenous to New Zealand. It resembles spinach (Spinacia oleracea), but its growth habits are very different. Unlike Spinacia oleracea, New Zealand spinach tolerates high temperatures (up to 95° F) and is killed by a frost.

It is due to this heat tolerance that New Zealand spinach is grown in parts of the tropical Americas. As is the case with Spinacia oleracea, leaves and shoots are harvested and boiled or used fresh in salads.

New Zealnad spinach at terminal market in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Production

Seeds are planted 12 to 16 inches apart in rows 30 to 40 inches apart. Harvesting can begin 40-50 days after planting.

New Zealand spinach on a farm in Costa Rica.

Seed Sources

There are many companies that sell New Zealand spinach.

Found in:

Brazil
Espinafre da Nova Zelândia
Costa Rica
Espinaca