Gynura crepioides is commonly known as Okinawa Spinach, it is native to Indonesia. Okinawa Spinach is commercially grown in China as a green, it is not a true spinach. Both the stems and the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. The top of the leaves are dark green and the undersides are purple. Okinawa Spinach has an unique flavor with a faint hint of pine, and will add a beautiful aesthetic element to cuisine. This green is also known as cholesterol spinach, and there are many claims that it lowers can cholesterol. This plant will thrive in pretty much any type of soil from clay to silt to sandy soils. It does well in any type of light other than full shade, but will grow best in full sun to partial shade. Okinawa Spinach is not a heavy feeder, and is relatively pest-free. It is good to cut back flowering branches to promote new shoot growth, because the shoots and leaves are what are harvested. Okinawan spinach is very adaptable to container gardening and even grows well on a windowsill. The younger leaves will have a much better flavor than the older leaves. The leaves and young shoot tips can be steamed, used in stir fry, tempura, stews, and soups. Just add them at the very end.
See article about this plant: Longevity Spinach Super-food Recipes.
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