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Basella or vine spinach is a popular tropical leafy-green vegetable commonly grown as backyard plant in the home gardens. In the true sense, it is different from English spinach (Spinacea oleracea) in that the plant is a creeping vine, and its leaves feature glossy, broad, deep green, thick, and mucilaginous. Commonly found in the backyard gardens of many south Asian families, it is gaining popularity in some of the tropical and temperate climates of America, Australia and Europe for its succulent, nutritious greens, and tender stems.
Vine spinach belongs to the Basellaceae family, and has two chief cultivars, Basella alba, which features green-stems and deep-green leaves, and Basella rubra with purplish-stems and deep-green leaves with pink veins.