New Zealand Spinach growing in Milarri Garden
Source: Museum Victoria
No Aboriginal name recorded
Botanical name: Tetragonia tetragonioides
The Koories around Sydney were said to despise the leaves as food, although the early settlers cooked them as spinach, and thought so highly of them that the plant was taken to Europe and America and cultivated for food. Despite the Sydney account, it is very likely that in other areas this is one of the many plants used by the Koories as greens. It contains poisonous compounds called oxalates and must be cooked properly before eating.
New Zealand Spinach grows across Australia except the Northern Territory.
This easily-cultivated groundcover thrives in moist, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. It is low-growing and spreads about 1–2 m wide.