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Malibar Spinach seeds Empty Malibar Spinach seeds

Post  miinva on 9/6/2010, 8:24 pm

Today I was collecting seeds from some of my herbs (a first for me! Very Happy) and I noticed that the Malibar Spinach has purple berries on it. I pulled one off and squeezed it and the deepest, most exquisitely purple juice got on my fingertips! There's a big seed in there, so I did some research and I'm going to harvest some seeds and see if I can grow more next year. It went crazy, all up the side of my house! The red Malibar vined and climbed everywhere, while the green Malibar grew on a couple of main plants and wasn't as vining. What an awesome plant, and a hardy grower! I'm hoping my seeds will germinate. I found a site that recommended removing the berry (while wearing gloves!), washing the seeds, then drying them in the sun. We'll see how it goes Smile I think I'm going to get a LOT of seeds to try out Very Happy
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Post  junequilt on 9/6/2010, 8:48 pm

You can also just let the seeds fall off the plant and self-sow. They'll germinate next year when the weather warms up. Unlike some other vining plants, Malabar transplants easily, so if seedlings volunteer in places where you don't want them, you can always move the little darlings -- or give them away as gifts.

In fact, my original seedling was a volunteer from a friend's garden, 20 years ago. I've never had to buy seeds.
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Post  miinva on 9/6/2010, 8:57 pm

I'm really excited about saving my own seeds and growing them Smile
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Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 9:01 pm

Any pictures, miinva? Sounds fascinating.
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Post  miinva on 9/6/2010, 9:03 pm

I'll snap some as soon as I can Smile I'm hoping to get the seeds cleaned of the berries tomorrow when I get home and I'll try to snap some pictures for you guys.
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Post  junequilt on 9/9/2010, 10:41 am

We trained our Malabar to climb an arched trellis this year. At its peak (July and the beginning of August) the entire arch was covered in lush deep red vines and green heart-shaped leaves. Characteristically, once it begins to flower the leaves thin out somewhat, because this plant REALLY puts its heart into flowering and producing seed! Here are a couple of photos.

This was how it started out in the spring. We eventually had about 8 vines growing up each side of the arch. Malibar Spinach seeds Malaba11


As it is now -- September -- up close and personal. Crazy little flowers, eh? Almost alien-looking. Each one of those little purple-black beads is a ripening seed cluster.
Malibar Spinach seeds Closeu11


This is how the trellis looks covered with flowers. We still pick and eat the leaves -- they're good until frost kills the vines.Malibar Spinach seeds Malaba10
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Post  miinva on 9/9/2010, 12:51 pm

That's beautiful!!! What a wonderful idea.
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Post  Megan on 9/9/2010, 6:33 pm

Wow... how wild is that?!?! Thank you so much for sharing those pictures, junequilt. Are the seed clusters edible in any way?
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Post  sceleste54 on 9/9/2010, 8:05 pm

You know those berries ought to be packed full of nutrients, as vividly colored as they are...Smile I went back thru my seed stocks ( I never throw anything away) and found some seeds for this, never got it to grow before so I'm trying it again !!
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Post  Megan on 9/9/2010, 8:26 pm

Agreed, but there are plenty of poisonous seeds which are vividly colored, too! Very Happy

I looked on Dave's Garden, and posts there seem to point to the seeds being used in dye but no one is raving about eating them. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1318/
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Post  miinva on 9/9/2010, 9:15 pm

I cleaned the seeds tonight and the water was the most beautiful color! Very Happy I have a lot of seeds that are drying, and I'm happy to share. Once they're dry I'll but a message up in the IHA forum.
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