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Okinawa Spinach

purple okinawa spinach

Okinawan Spinach, Gynura crepioides, a hardy and vigorous spinach substitute, in the chrysanthemum family. It is found in both the just green and green/purple varieties. Plants will sprawl out for 3-6 feet and last many years, making it an excellent tropical perennial. Okinawa spinach can grow up to about 3 feet tall unsupported or you can allow it to climb other plants or fixtures. The greens are tender and very nutritious and can be added to other cooked dishes or or eaten along with other steamed vegetables. If there are over cooked, they become a little bit slimy which is why they are a good addition instead of eaten solely.

Taking and growing Okinawa spinach cuttings

They are very easily grown from medium soft and hard growth cuttings. All you need to do is stick them in a bit of moist soil and make sure they don’t dry out until they are established. You can also root the cuttings in water or inside in pots.

Okinawa spinach in your garden or landscape

Okinawa spinach occupies under story spaces in food forest systems well and competes well with grasses and weeds IF you weed it until it is well established. The purple/green varieties have a shiny purple underside of the leaf and bright yellow/orange flowers making it an attractive landscaping plant. If left unchecked it will spread semi-vigorously in all directions. It is a true winner of the tropical and a must have in permaculture systems.