OH A highly nutritious, delicious, beautiful and prolific plant that I think everyone should have in their garden! A relative to the wild lambsquarters, spinach, silverbeet and quinoa with striking magenta centers on all new growth. Best eaten raw when young and tender in spring, but can be cooked like spinach or silverbeet throughout the season and some even eat the seeds like quinoa. It can grow to over 2 metres high which explains why it is also called Tree Spinach, so it double as a windbreak and makes a great addition to the carbon content of your compost heap! An all-around winner!!! Best to pinch out new growth like basil when harvesting and it will keep bushing out and producing fresh growth for your table. Self-sows readily, so once you let it go to seed, you should always have some in your garden. Lambsquarters are packed with vitamins C and E, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, minerals and antioxidants and they contain the highest vegetable levels of beta carotene, which is the precursor to Vitamin A. Strains of Lambsquarters were found native to both India and the America’s. Alan Kapuler of Peace Seeds in Oregon was given this strain from a French botanical garden and gave it its common name Magenta Spreen. Folks often ask why “spreen”? Alan was joking with friends about calling plants new growth “shoots,” which made them think of guns, so they made up the word spreen to use instead!
Sow in trays in early Spring. Prick out to 4cm diagonal spacing when true leaves appear. Transplant into garden when a healthy root system develops at 30cm diagonal spacing.