Seeds - raw or cooked. It can be sprouted and added to salads.Chlorophyll extracted from the leaves is used as an edible green dye.
The leaves have been used in the treatment of febrile conditions, inflammation of the lungs and the bowels.The seeds are laxative and cooling. They have been used in the treatment of difficult breathing, inflammation of the liver and jaundice.
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Young plants are hardy to about -9°c. Spinach is often cultivated for its edible leaves, there are some named varieties. These varieties can be grouped into two main types as detailed below:-
Forms with prickly seeds. These are the more primitive forms. Their leaves are more lobed and they are in general more cold tolerant and also more resistant of summer heat. They were more often used to produce a crop in the winter. Forms with round seeds have been developed in cultivation, These have broader leaves, tend to be less cold hardy and were also more prone to bolt in hot weather. They were used mainly for the summer crop. Most new cultivars are of the round seeded variety and these have been developed to be more resistant to bolting in hot weather, more cold tolerant, to produce more leaves and also to be lower in calcium oxalate which causes bitterness and also has negative nutritional effects upon the body.
Some modern varieties have been developed that are low in oxalic acid. Edible leaves can be obtained all year round from successional sowings. The summer varieties tend to run to seed fairly quickly, especially in hot dry summers and so you need to make successional sowings every few weeks if a constant supply is required. Winter varieties provide leaves for a longer period, though they soon run to seed when the weather warms up.Spinach grows well with strawberries. It also grows well with cabbages, onions, peas and celery. A fast-growing plant, the summer crop can be interplanted between rows of slower growing plants such as Brussels sprouts. The spinach would have been harvested before the other crop needs the extra space. Spinach is a bad companion for grapes and hyssop.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Spinacia oleracea.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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