Growing NZ Spinach, also Warrigal greens

Tetragonia expansa : Aizoaceae / the fig-marigold family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
S S S           S S S S
T T T           T T T T
P P P           P P P P

(Best months for growing NZ Spinach in Australia - temperate regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 18°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 45 - 60 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Pick the tips.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Does better if alone.
  • NZ Spinach

NZ spinach has green, triangulated leaves and a spreading habit.

This is a coastal plant which natively grows on dune edges. It survives salt-spray in coastal gardens.

It can withstand hot, dry summer weather when real spinach tends to die off. Will self-sow and become widespread.

Soak seeds for one or two hours before sowing as the outer skin is hard.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating NZ Spinach

Can be used as a substitute for real spinach in cooking. Pick the growing tips at about 8 - 10 cm (4 - 6 in).

To remove oxalates it's a good idea to blanch the leaves for 3 minutes or so, then rinse the leaves in cold water before using them in salads or for cooking. (ABC TV)

Your comments and tips

17 Aug 23, Jamie (Australia - temperate climate)
I live on the coast and rather than bothering with Warrigal greens I munch the indigenous Bower Spinach (Tetragonia implexicoma). Very similar plant except that it climbs and drapes curtains of succulent greenery off long trailing stems from the lower branches of the local tea trees. It is good tucker and being by the sea it is naturally salty.
03 Aug 19, Peter Nuzum (Australia - temperate climate)
Growing prolifically among my silver beet so maybe this is a good companion plant.
07 Aug 19, (Australia - temperate climate)
Probably more to do with good rich soil. It does suggest here to plant by it's self as it spreads out and may eventually smother out other plants.
28 May 18, Ronnie Enis (USA - Zone 12b climate)
Where can i find Warigal spinich in the U S. I live in wisconsin.
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
USA company is Sow No GMO on the net.
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
I found some on Amazon - 30 seeds for $6.
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look up seed selling companies in the USA on the internet.
13 Feb 18, kitty carr (Australia - arid climate)
where in Australia and new Zealand , can the warrigal greens seeds be purchased, and how much does a pack cost ?
01 Jan 23, Mandie (Australia - temperate climate)
I got mine for free from my local community garden
14 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try seed selling companies on the internet. In Aus try Boondie Seeds, Seed Collection company, New Life Seeds. They generally cost $1 for a few seed + $1 postage.
Showing 1 - 10 of 37 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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