FoI
Malabar Spinach   
Foto info
Malabar Spinach
N Native Vine
Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Ceylon spinach, Indian spinach, Malabar Spinach, Red vine spinach, Vine spinach • Hindi: Poi पोई • Manipuri: Urok Shumban • Konkani: Valchi Bhagi • Tamil: Vasalakkirai • Kannada: Bansali • Marathi: Velbendi • Gujarati: Valchi Bhagi • Malayalam: Vasalaccira • Sanskrit: Upodika • Bengali: Pui Shaak
Botanical name: Basella alba var. rubra     Family: Basellaceae (Basella family)

Malabar Spinach is not really a spinach at all, but the taste is similar and it is better suited to summer growing than real spinach. The large meaty,leaves are spinach-like in flavor and is very heat tolerant. The flowers, which are small, white, and tinged with pink, form in small clusters on the end of short stems at the nodes. Pea-size, dark purple, juicy fruits follow the flowers, which adds another ornamental dimension. The berries are fleshy and purplish black and the juice is sometimes used as a dye.This is a fast growing vine great to cover an ugly spot in a hurry, should be planted where it can climb. Will do fine in the shade but the leaves will not turn purple/red the stems will still get red but not as much as they do in full sun.
Identification credit: R.K. Nimai Singh & Supriya Saha
Photographed in Delhi.