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BOTANICAL NAME: Talinum triangulare
COMMON NAMES: Waterleaf, Surinam Purslane, Philippine spinach, Florida spinach
FAMILY: Talinaceae, formerly in the family Portulacaceae
ORIGIN: South America, now widespread in the tropics

A short-lived perennial, to 30 - 100 cm high, forming an attractive, clumping plant. The small pink flowers are pretty enough for it to be grown in the flower border. The bright green leaves are broad and fleshy in texture. It self-sows very readily, care should be taken to avoid it becoming invasive. As it is native to the tropics it is less hardy in the subtropics. It is unlikely to do well in temperate areas without a special microclimate as it is tender to both frost and cold conditions. It prefers a moderate to rich loam and to be kept moist. Plant in partial shade.

The crunchy, tangy, nutritious leaves are high in protein and rich in Vitamins A and C as well as iron and calcium. The leaves can be eaten raw in salads or lightly cooked as a green vegetable in stir-fries. It is high in oxalic acid, so consumption should be avoided or limited by those suffering from kidney disorders, gout and rheumatoid arthritis. New research suggests it protects the liver and reduces cholesterol.

Recommended Planting Time: It is very easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings. Propagate during the wet season or spring in cooler areas.
Planting Depth: Cuttings 25 cm long can be rooted easily in a glass of water or just pushed into the soil during the wet season. Strip the leaves off the bottom half of the stems and bury to half their length and keep moist.
Spacing: Space 60 cm apart.

SORRY but due to quarantine restrictions between Australian States no plants at all can be ordered by residents of Norfolk Island, Tasmania and Western Australia. These restrictions are very important as they prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases. No potatoes, garlic, shallots, strawberries or tubestock can be sent to South Australia. No tubestock can be sent to Northern Territory.
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