Longevity Spinach

 

One of my favorite and easiest plants to grow is longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens). It is a perennial in the Tampa Bay area unless there is a freeze, then it may die back to the roots and return in the spring. In areas with colder temperatures, it can be grown as an annual or brought inside during the winter. It does grow year round, but growth will slow during the cooler months.

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This plant has a light green leaf, a thick but tender stem and a sprawling habit, reaching about one foot in height, but can reach three or four feet in width unless cut. The stems will grow along the ground and produce roots.  It produces orange flowers in the spring.

I usually break or cut a stem off the plant, harvest the leaves for dinner and put the stem back in the ground to root and make another plant but the stem can also be cut and used like celery in soups or stews. It can be eaten raw or cooked. I like to chop the leaves and add it to pasta dishes or anywhere you would use spinach, or use it raw in salad or on a sandwich instead of lettuce.
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Longevity spinach is high in protein. Medicinally, it has been used in Southeast Asia for centuries medicinally to treat type 2 diabetes, inflammation, high cholesterol and infections.

Published by Amanda Streets

I have always had a passion for gardening and growing my own vegetables. As a child, my family grew most of our vegetables in our garden and picked wild berries and fruit, canning or freezing the excess, and sharing with friends and family. We never had a lot of money but I had no clue - we ate like royalty because we grew it all! I didn't appreciate the opportunities that I was provided then; I was a child. But I always loved the plants. Now, I see the problems our communities face with food being grown in unhealthy ways, crops shipped from one side of the world to the other, and processed with so many chemicals. I'd like to offer families a way out of this wasteful cycle and a chance to reconnect with nature. Using regenerative permaculture techniques, fruits and vegetables can be grown easily in your own yards. We live in an area with the capacity to produce such bounty. Let's grow together!

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