New Zealand spinach – Tetragonia tetragonioides Facts

New Zealand spinach is warm season alternative to regular spinach that does well in hot, dry conditions. It is an annual, low-growing, weak-stemmed leafy plant that prefers warm weather and grows well in well-drained, sandy soils, rich in organic matter. It is a nutrition dense vegetable which is found used in several food items from long time.

Name New Zealand spinach
Scientific Name Tetragonia tetragonioides
Native Argentina, Australia, Chile, Japan, and New Zealand
Common/English Name Tetragonia, ice plant, everbearing spinach, everlasting spinach, perpetual spinach, Della Nuova Zelanda, Botany Bay spinach, Cook’s cabbage, kōkihi, New Zealand spinach, sea spinach, and tetragon
Plant Growth Habit Annual, low-growing, weak-stemmed leafy plant
Growing Climate Heat-resistant, warm weather plant that is frost sensitive.
Soil Well-drained, sandy soils, rich in organic matter
Plant Size 1 to 2 feet tall and Spread 1 to 3 feet
Root Shallow-rooted
Leaf Shape & Size 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) long, succulent, triangular- to oval-shaped leaves, smaller and fuzzier than regular spinach. The leaves are thick, and covered with tiny papillae that look like water drops on the top and bottom of the leaves.
Leaf Color Pale to dark green color
Leaf Flavor Similar to other spinaches
Flower Small yellow flowers
Fruit Fruit is a small, hard conical capsules covered with small horns. Within the capsule there are several seeds.
Varieties/Types Maori
Major Nutrition Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 525.6 µg (438.00%)
Manganese, Mn 0.947 mg (41.17%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.427 mg (32.85%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 28.8 mg (32.00%)
Copper, Cu 0.139 mg (15.44%)
Iron, Fe 1.19 mg (14.88%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.193 mg (14.85%)
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 2.21 mg (14.73%)
Magnesium, Mg 58 mg (13.81%)
Sodium, Na 193 mg 12.87%
Health Benefits
  • Prevents Asthma
  • Thickens Hair
  • Protects the Nervous System
  • Blood Clotting
  • Fatigue
  • Immunity
  • Fights off Colds and Flu
  • Reduce Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Alleviating PMS syndrome
  • Supports Heart Health
Calories in 1cup (100gm) 22 Kcal


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