Malabar!

I've posted a little about the Malabar spinach vines earlier this summer, but the plants are doing so well and I like them so much I thought I'd dedicate a whole post to them.


Another minimally-worded post, but I think the photos will speak for themselves again.


***

These are annual vines with thick, glossy leaves and wonderfully red stems. Everything about the plant is "thick" and beautiful:






The tiny, tiny flowers are everywhere. I'm glad to see that size doesn't matter to the bees -- it's the quantity that matters -- because there are bees and wasps of all types all around these plants:



In the sunlight the vines almost fluoresce with reddish-purple brilliance:


But even in the shade they're so beautiful, a perfect contrast to the dark green foliage:



Of course since it is a vine, it can get a little out of hand, winding itself around other plants and whatever is nearby:



But that's okay by me -- I expect the vines I plant to do this. I think I'd be disappointed in a vine that didn't sort of take over the structure it was intended to climb.

The tiny flowers each quickly turn into dark berries -- there are thousands of them:



Do birds eat them? I don't know. I have a feeling that I'll be seeing Malabar spinach seedlings all over the place next year though. Maybe they'll give the cypress vine seedlings some competition.


Even if I don't see it reseeding itself, I'm definitely growing this again next year!

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Gerhard Bock  – (August 26, 2011 at 3:15 PM)  

Beautiful vine! I'd love to have some seeds if you end up collecting any :-).

Gerhard
:: Bamboo and More ::

Lancashire rose  – (August 26, 2011 at 3:42 PM)  

Very lush and attractive. Question is, do you eat the spinach?

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (August 26, 2011 at 4:22 PM)  

I've nibbled leaves, but haven't created a salad or cooked with them. I think I'll give that a try tonight though!

Jennifer  – (August 26, 2011 at 5:39 PM)  

Ooh! I love new vine options! This year I had to resort to buying mandavilla vines from the local big-box home improvement warehouse. (who knew finding red mandavilla would be so hard?) Well, they haven't vined yet, they're more of a shrub, and I can assure you, it is very disappointing when a vine won't vine.

usha Sundar  – (August 29, 2014 at 10:36 PM)  

My malabar has tiny leaves. What is the best way to get lush big leaves?

Alan  – (August 30, 2014 at 9:28 AM)  

I'm not sure what the secret is to big leaves. Possibly the amount of sunlight or water? I know once they start flowering the leaves are smaller.

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