Common Name: Malabar Spinach (Ceylon Spinach, Climbing Spinach, Vine Spinach)
Latin Name:Basella alba; Basella rubra.
Family Name: Basellaceae
Despite its name, Malabar Spinach is not related to the more familiar vegetable called Spinach, but is a tropical vine with leaves resembling those of the vegetable. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron, but it is also quite high in protein and containsoxalic acid (although not in as great a quantity as common Spinach) and phytic acid, both of which can interfere with the uptake of calcium, so it is best fed sparingly, as part of a wider and varied diet.
Flowers of Basella alba are white, and those of Basella rubra are pink. Do not confuse with Spinachor Tree Spinach.