Botanical name: Spinacia oleracea Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Spinacia domestica, Spinacia glabra, Spinacia sessiliflora
Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant native to central and western Asia. It is an annual plant (rarely biennial), growing as tall as 30 cm. Spinach may overwinter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular, and very variable in size: 2-30 cm long and 1-15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are not prominent, yellow-green, 3-4 mm in diameter, and mature into a small, hard, dry, lumpy fruit cluster 5-10 mm across containing several seeds. Its leaves are a common edible vegetable consumed either fresh, or after storage using preservation techniques by canning, freezing, or dehydration. It may be eaten cooked or raw, and the taste differs considerably.
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