Tetragonia tetragonoides seeds

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Tetragonia tetragonoides
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Tetragonia tetragonoides seeds, New Zealand Spinach

 

Tatragonia tetragonoides is a plant cultivated as leafy vegetable also known by other names such as Sea spinach, New Zealand spinach and perpetual spinach. The plant synonym includes Tetragonia expansa. It is a species of flowering plant in the family of Aizoeaceae and Tetragonia genus. Though the plant has been widely spread to various parts of the world, it has its origin in Eastern Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Tetragonia teragonoides is an enduring evergreen plant growing at a fast rate up to 0.2 by 1m. The species has a trailing habit forming a thick carpet on the ground or support themselves by other surrounding vegetation or at other times hang downwards. The stems have erect growth when young but weaken as it ages. The leaves are bright green, triangular in shape about 3-15 cm long, thick and is covered with small fleshy projection resembling water drops both on its bottom and top. The flowers are yellowish in colour which matures to produce small, capsule-like fruits with small horns covering its surface. The plant is in flower from around August to October and seeds fully ripen from September. The species is not self-fertilized and has both male and female organs. The plant is favorable to grow in dry or moist soil as well as drought.

Tetragonia teragonoides can be useful in various ways; for instance, leaves can be eaten raw or cooked as vegetables. The plant’s shoots can be harvested when about 8-10cm long to encourage more growth of the shoots which is useful and can be a spinach substitute. Young leaves of the plant can also be used as salads.

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