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Spinach (Spinachia Oleracea)

This annual plant is a native of South-West Asia, and now a popular vegetable.

It was introduced to Europe by the Dutch in the middle of the 16th century. It grows successfully in temperate conditions, and needs watering well. In hot dry weather it tends to bolt, and the growing of New Zealand spinach (tetragonia tetragonioides) as a substitute is recommended. Spinach is rich in iron, but this is water soluble, so if wanting to ingest it any water used in the cooking should be reduced and mixed in with the cooked leaves.

People with a tendency to kidney stones should eat spinach sparingly, since its high oxalic acid tends to form calcium-ozalate kidney stones in susceptible individuals.

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