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Flamingo spinach grows in bunches with uniformly-shaped, dark green leaves on long stems. Bunches of Flamingo spinach can reach up to 30 centimeters in height. The uniform leaves have an overall arrowhead shape with three deep serrations near the base of the leaf. The long stems of Flamingo spinach keep the leaves well away from the soil, and make harvesting easier. Flamingo spinach has a good flavor with a crunchy texture.
Flamingo spinach is available in the spring and fall months.
Flamingo spinach is a hybrid arrowhead-type variety of Spinacia oleracea. This variety was selected for its cold-hardiness and its slowness to bolt. Arrowhead spinach varieties are sometimes referred to as Asian leaf spinach. This relatively new named variety of spinach is billed as a ‘continuous harvest’ variety.
Flamingo spinach, like other arrowhead varieties contains small amounts of vitamin C and several of the B-complex vitamins including high amounts of B6, thiamin (B1), and niacin (B3). Flamingo spinach also contains protein and important minerals like potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
Flamingo spinach can be used in any application that calls for a spinach variety. Flamingo spinach is well suited for salads and sautéing. Add chopped or chiffonade Flamingo spinach to pastas or soups and stews. Flamingo spinach will keep in the refrigerator, wrapped in a perforated bag, for up to a week.
Flamingo spinach was one of two varieties of spinach tested by NASA for a ‘pick-and-eat’ diet on the International Space Station. Other leafy greens were among those that were tested, including swiss chard, red romaine, green leaf, Chinese cabbage and mizuna. These leafy greens along with dwarf tomato plant varieties were tested in 2015 for the 2017 veggie chamber deployment. After strenuous testing on growth, speed of growth and nutrients, Flamingo spinach did not make the final cut.
Flamingo spinach is a newer hybrid variety that was likely developed around 2010. This cold-hardy variety of spinach is also highly resistant to downy mildew and is slow to bolt. It is grown as a year-round crop in temperate climates and can be over-wintered in the ground in cooler climates. Flamingo spinach is available through small farms and local farmers markets.