Basella Rubra - Malabar Spinach / Ceylon Spinach
Native to the Indian subcontinent, this climbing perennial is often grown as an annual, reaching up to 10m long, with thick fleshy leaves and stems.
Leaves are heart-shaped, entirely edible with a mild flavour, used as a true spinach substitute. Leaves are mid to bright green, while stems are a reddish-purple. As they mature, leaves will turn the same reddish colour from the base upward. Flowers are small and a bright purple colour, growing on a flowering spike during the shorter days of the year.
Both the stem and leaves are edible, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Unlike true spinach, it doesn't wilt as rapidly, and is a good source of Vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron.
Very frost tender and should be kept above 10°C at all times.