Wild and Exotic Spinach

By coincidence I bought two unusual forms of spinach the other day from the farmers market. The first is Wild Spinach aka goosefoot or lambsquarters, which I discover via Googling that its a relatively common weed. So it was worth scanning and noting for future reference should I come across them for free. I've since eaten it and like it a lot- a little nuttier and woodier and longer to cook than regular spinach.

The other was Tree Spinach also known as Chaya. I bought it as a house plant- I really like the finely cut leaves. The vendor tells me that it is a Jatropha but all the information for that indicates red flowers and the plant has a couple of white flowers. Finally I track it down as Cnidoscolus chayamansa in the Euphorbia family and is part of the staple diet of indigenous people in Mexico and Guatemala. Not quite so keen to experiment with its culinary use since I bought it for aesthetic reasons- and its poisonous unless cooked but who knows, if its prolific enough on my window sill I might give it a try.

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