Warrigal greens

Also Botany Bay Greens, New Zealand Spinach (it's indigenous to NZ as well), or Tetragon (by the French, apparently). Related variety, also edible, is known as Bower spinach.

Latin name: Tetragonia tetragonides, Tetragonia implexicoma (Bower spinach).

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Eating


  • Must be blanched before eating - place in boiling water for one minute, or place in a bowl and pour boiling water over it and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • Doesn't shrink down like English spinach does, and retains a lovely plump mouthful even after cooking.
  • Use in the same way as English spinach - excellent in quiches, pasta sauces, and stir-fries, or served plainly with butter/oil and some nutmeg.
  • Makes a good pesto.
  • Well-liked by poultry, goats, and other livestock.
  • Leaves are best, but stems can be cooked as well.
  • Do not eat the seed cases! They are very hard and not at all nice.
  • Does not freeze when fresh; however, like spinach, will freeze quite well once cooked.
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Growing


  • Has a tiny yellow flower and heart-shaped leaves that range in size from baby-spinach-sized larger than a human hand.
  • Technically a coastal plant, but grows readily in heavy and sandy soils.
  • Can be frost-tolerant if it has naturalised in a frosty area.
  • Self-seeds and naturalises very readily.
  • A ground plant with long runners.
  • Has a single small root - while the runners climb (or more accurately scramble) to an extent, they do not root and are not invasive, and they are easy to pull out when they’ve taken over too much.
  • Excellent living mulch.
  • Does not like to dry out when being re-planted - keep damp for at least two weeks after transplanting. It should be ok after that.