Asked on Sep 12, 2012

another "what is it"

Sweet Pea StudioDianneWalter Reeves


this is a climbing vine, has berries on it. They are whitish, turning blackish, looks kinda like pokeberries...the stems are a wine color. I was told they were eatable.
3 answers
  • Walter Reeves
    on Sep 12, 2012

    Malabar spinach Basella rubra Also known as "climbing spinach," this ornamental summer vine, from the tropics of India, is not a true spinach but its thick, fleshy, slightly-crinkled, heart-shaped leaves and tender young shoot tips can be harvested as they grow and used as a hot-weather spinach substitute, eaten raw or cooked (though it is not as slick in texture as real spinach).

  • Dianne
    on Sep 13, 2012

    thanks Walter Reeves, I can always count on you. A lady gave me some small plants with roots, can I plant them in pots, keep inside this winter & plant outside next spring? Or do I need to get seed from her?

  • Sweet Pea Studio
    on Oct 11, 2012

    Yes, Dianne, Walter is right. I have this growing on my fence in Central Florida. (I planted it last year and it has almost covered the fence) It is better sauteed than in a fresh garden salad and wonderful in vegetarian lasagna. I don't know if the berries are edible as my plant doesn't have these.

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