Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beach spinach (Tetragonia trigyna)


The leaves make a good kale substitute. Like kale, beach spinach keeps well, and holds its shape and volume well when cooked. I just love this stuff.

It grows in many places round the NZ coast, growing most lushly in spots that offer it some shade. To harvest, pick the growing tips - this encourages new growth. (I.e. Leave some for me! :o)

Update 31 January


Beach spinach is in berry at the moment. I'm not sure exactly how edible or good for you the berries are, but spurred on by my intrepid friend Lynda, I've tried a couple. The taste is mild, salty, sweet and juicy with a texture a bit like watermelon.

Has anyone else eaten the berries or heard of people eating them? In all the books and websites I've checked, the only use I can find for the berries is as a colouring.

Beach spinach is in the same family as iceplant, and that has berries that are known to be edible.


Beach spinach links:
Blog post about beach spinach berries
More blogging about beach spinach
Google Images
Plants for a Future database (It doesn't have an entry on beach spinach, but it does have one on its close relative - NZ spinach)

2 comments:

Michael B said...

Hi there,

Love your site.

Have been foraging this regularly in Wellington. It grows not only in beachside areas but across the city green belt, sometimes carpeting the ground.

And the Maori name is kokihi.

Cheers

Michael B

Anonymous said...

Hey, apparently the berries aren't edible: http://maoriplantuse.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/PeoplePlantsDetails.aspx?firstcome=firstcome&PKey=26746101-D9DC-42B9-9385-C4ECE9963569