The most useful green you’ve ever seen: meet Magenta spreen (aka tree spinach, lambs quarters, goosefoot). The more you get to know it, the more you will adore it. Possessing extraordinary talents, our hero seems dedicated to protecting the clever gardener from boring, poor-quality vegetables. You will be instantly attracted by it’s gorgeousness, wowed by the super food production capabilities and almost blown over by just how darn handy it is in the vegetable garden. You too can have this amazing plant powering in your garden.
It takes good looks to be a superhero, just ask Robert Downey Jr, Henry Cavill or Lynda Carter. Magenta spreen certainly fits the bill. The big and beautiful deep green leaves are iced with sparkly pink dust near the stems — otherworldly. Iridescent and irresistible, the towering plants grow to over 2 metres tall. Doesn’t wear tights though.
Can feed families in a single bound
From pretty little microgreens to full mega-sized leaves on mega-sized stalks for serious food-producing, Magenta spreen is adaptable and delicious. The young leaves and tops really do bedazzle in salads, can be steamed or sauteed. Think of it as a super-easy, super-prolific spinach with a mild flavour. Just the bee’s knees for those intensive vegetable dishes such as paleek paneer, lasagnes or spanakopita, because this guy produces a huge amount of leaf. It’s called tree spinach for a very good reason.
Rich in vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Because of it’s wild ancestry, no one has really taken the time to cultivate and mess with it’s characteristics and there is a lot of evidence to suggest this makes it a far more nutritious vegetable than your average garden variety leaf.
Super strong and dependable
Ridiculously easy to grow. You won’t see a pest on it, nor a leaf damaged by them. Let it go to seed and you will be rewarded with pretty little seedlings popping up everywhere. If you do want to keep in under control, simply chop the flowers off when they appear. Our hero will grow in rough conditions but will look pale and spindly. A good soil with enough water will allow it to shine. No further cultivation necessary. Grows with such speed and vigour, you won’t believe your eyes.
Protector of innocent vegetables
Our super-hero can protect the rest of your garden from wind. Yes, it will grow fast and tall and bushy and shelter your more precious vegetables from the ravages of rapid air currents. It can also lay down and cover your garden bed, making it one of the most delightful green (and pink) manure crops around. Slam dunk really.
With a soft and squishy side
All super-heroes have a softer side… The powdery pink can be used as a colourant dust for decorating cupcakes or small faces. Cute, eh?
Harness the powers of Magenta Spreen
Swooping in to the LovePlantLife store for a special appearance, we have some fine Magenta Spreen seed packaged up and ready to go. Not quite convinced though? Come and meet Magenta spreen in person at the Kapiti Sustainable Home and Garden Show, March 22-23.