General Information
NameNew Zealand spinach
Scientific NameTetragonia tetragonioides
DescriptionTetragonia tetragonioides (or previously T. expansa) is a leafy groundcover also known as New Zealand spinach, Warrigal greens, kokihi, sea spinach, Botany Bay spinach, tetragon and Cook's cabbage. It is native to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Chile and Argentina. The species, rarely used by Maori or other indigenous people as a leaf vegetable, was first mentioned by Captain Cook. It was immediately picked, cooked, and pickled to help fight scurvy, and taken with the crew of the Endeavour. It spread when the explorer and botanist Joseph Banks took seeds back to Kew Gardens during the latter half of the 18th century. For two centuries, T. tetragonioides was the only cultivated vegetable to have originated from Australia and New Zealand. The species prefers a moist environment for growth. The plant has a trailing habit, and will form a thick carpet on the ground or climb though other vegetation and hang downwards. The leaves of the plant are 3–15 cm long, triangular in shape, and bright green. The leaves are thick, and covered with tiny papillae that look like waterdrops on the top and bottom of the leaves. The flowers of the plant are yellow, and the fruit is a small, hard pod covered with small horns. The plant is a halophyte and grows well in saline ground.
Primary IDFOOD00415
Sub-GroupLeaf vegetables
ITIS ID19938
Wikipedia IDTetragonia tetragonioides
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CompoundStructureContent Range AverageReference
MacronutrientContent Range AverageReference
Content Reference— Duke, James. 'Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. United States Department of Agriculture.' Agricultural Research Service, Accessed April 27 (2004).
— U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2008. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page.
— Shinbo, Y., et al. 'KNApSAcK: a comprehensive species-metabolite relationship database.' Plant Metabolomics. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2006. 165-181.