Growing Basella, Malabar spinach (Basella alba), a hot weather Leafy Favorite
Basella alba, Malabar spinach, is a popular green leafy vegetable in many parts of the world. Native to tropical Asia, this is fast-growing plant is a soft-stemmed, twining vine with dark green, glossy, oval to heart-shaped leaves that are thick and semi-succulent with a mucilaginous texture. It is easily grown as an annual during the heat of summer. Benerally remains smaller in most gardens. The dark green, glossy, oval to heart-shaped leaves are thick and semi-succulent with a mucilaginous texture. The edible leaves (and shoots) of Basella alba resemble spinach with a mild, slightly peppery flavor with a hint of citrus and are used in the same way. The young leaves can be eaten steamed or boiled like cooked spinach. The leaves can be eaten throughout the season, but once plants start flowering, the leaves become bitter.