Cnidoscolus aconitifolius


Spinach Tree

Once a staple food for Mayan Culture, the plant is prolific with nutrient dense leaves that have a milder taste than spinach. Enjoyed in soups, salads and stir fries, just be sure to cook to remove toxins. Leaves are only edible after being boiled for 15 minutes.. Do NOT cook in aluminum pan. If you are allergic to latex, wear gloves while harvesting Chaya leaves. Flowers are attractive to birds, bees & butterflies. Prune in spring for leaf production or allow to grow.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b-10b
Chill Hours: -
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Plant Type: Perennial
Blooming Season: Blooms all year repeatedly
Years to Bear Fruit/Edible Qualities: Nutrient dense leaves. Must be cooked before consuming.
Full Size: Shrub or Tree at 10' high, 6' across
Cold Tolerance: Stops growing when cold weather sets in. Light frost will brown leaves, freeze will set the plant back to roots
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Drought Tolerance/Watering: Once established, average watering is needed. Maintain watering once to twice per week during drought
Soil & Site Requirements: Not too particular with soil selection, but fertile soil with organic matter and good drainage will suit it best.