Monday, May 5, 2008

Spinach Tree

Cool growth habit, sturdy, just large enough, drought tolerant, butterfly attractant, not fussy about soil, flowers year-round, and edible....(but must boil leaves for 10 minutes - if not it can be poisonous)...what else can one ask for?

Oh, right, to not die after eating it would be nice.

Important Note: just as important as not meeting your demise by eating it, be careful when handling the plant. I learned (the hard way, as usual) that its leaves and flower stems have tiny hairs that can irritate one's skin. The closest way to compare that kind of pain is with that of a wasp's sting or, if you ever got burnt by a fire coral, that is a pretty close way to describe it. Not fun, so wear gloves when handling. The hairs in our plants came up in some spots but not all over the plant. This means that I was able to handle certain random parts of the plant without a problem...until one day...ouch!

Generally speaking the Spinach Trees collected from the wild will have this kind of hairs. If you buy your plant from a nursery this is not likely to occur. Except in my case. We bought our plants at Lukas if you get yours there, be sure to wear gloves.
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