Sedum Rubrotinctum (Rubro) is a type of succulent with large leaves and flowers. They are native to the Americas and have been cultivated for food, medicine, and other purposes since ancient times. Sedums are often used in folk remedies because they contain many medicinal compounds including salicin, thymol, hyoscyamine, myricetin, erythromycin, cyanide alkaloids such as piperine and others.
The name “rubro” comes from the Latin word rubrum meaning red and rostrum meaning leaf. These plants are found growing along river banks, streams, ponds, lakes and other bodies of water. They grow in groups or alone.
Some species are perennial while others bloom only once every few years. Sedums are often grown indoors but they do not like wet conditions so they prefer well drained soil with good drainage. They need full sun exposure and moist soil. They tolerate temperatures between 55°F and 85°F (13°C – 25°C).
Jelly beans are edible, although they taste bitter when raw. You can prepare them in various ways; however, most recipes call for soaking the beans first before cooking. When preparing jelly beans, it is best to soak them overnight at least until morning light.
They can be eaten raw, but not everyone likes the taste. The younger the jelly bean is, the sweeter it is. It is best to pick fresh jelly beans. The older it gets, the less sweet it tastes and the harder it becomes. Once harvested, jelly beans can last 6 months to a year if stored in the refrigerator.
Grow Your Own
Do you want to grow your own?
You can plant them outside or in a pot. If you plant them outside, they need full sun. They need well drained soil and enough water. It is best to grow them in a raised bed or container that has holes underneath to allow for drainage. You can also grow them using a cactus mix soil which contains more sand and less humus than regular garden soil.
How To Care
Jelly beans need about 8 hours of direct sunlight to flourish. They also need moist soil but not too wet. It is best to water them every other day.
They like warm temperatures between 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (12°C – 24°C), although they can tolerate a wider range of 40-90°F (4-32°C). Like most succulents, jelly beans need porous soil that drains quickly. You can add pumice, small gravel, or perlite to regular soil so it can drain water quickly. Never let the soil to dry out completely.
If you want to prune your jelly bean plant, you can do so by pruning the stem tips when repotting. Make sure that the cuts are clean so they can seal themselves after pruning. If you want to propagate new jelly bean plants, take a leaf and stick it in some moist soil.
If placed in a sunny area, the jelly bean plant can grow roots from the leaves and grow into a whole new plant.
Are They Poisonous?
Although jelly beans are edible, they can be poisonous if eaten in large quantities. Eating just one or two won’t kill a grown adult, but it can make them sick. The leaves and seeds are more poisonous than the jelly beans themselves.
What’s It Used For?
Jelly beans have historically been used to make leather, shoes, handbags, and other products stronger and more durable. The jelly bean plant can be used to make natural dyes for wool and silk. In Mexico, the jelly bean plant is used to treat diabetes. Native Americans used jelly bean juice for heart problems and applied the leaves for headaches. Today, jelly bean is still used in some herbal medicines.
Jelly beans are green when they are young and then turn red when they grow up. If you look at the leaves closely, they have a velvety feel to them. Jelly bean is not a real bean.
It is a fruit that grows from a vine. Beans grow from the soil. A jelly bean plant can live up to 15 years.
Spinach (Spinacia Oleracea)
Origin and Meaning of Names
The name spinach was taken from an English word “espinache” which meant “spinach.” The term itself comes from the word “esparto” which in turn came from the Arabic term “as-turkh” which meant “green hand.”
Spinach is a leafy vegetable that comes from a flowering plant. It has stems, leaves, and a root system. The darker green the leaves are, the more nutritious it is.
There are three types of spinach available: Savoy, smooth, and semi-savoy. They differ in the texture of the leaves which affects how they taste and how you can use them.
Spinach is composed almost entirely of water and nutrients. It has high amounts of Vitamin A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. It also has a small amount of protein and dietary fiber.
Spinach grows best in light to moderate temperatures and prefers cooler weather. The optimal soil temperature for planting spinach is between 60°F and 75°F (15°C – 24°C). If you are growing in containers, make sure to choose a small to medium size container so that the roots get the water and nutrients it needs.
Spinach can be grown as a winter or summer crop.
Spinach prefers sandy or loamy soil that is well-draining. It cannot tolerate water-logged roots for a long time, since the seeds require a lot of moisture to get started.
Choose a seedbed that has been prepared with manure or other organic fertilizers. Dig holes about four inches deep and space them about eight to twelve inches apart. Drop in one seed per hole and lightly cover it with soil.
Keep the soil moist until the seedlings emerge which is usually within seven to ten days.
It grows best in full sun. Spinach does not like hot weather, so make sure you pick a spot that has some afternoon shade. It is also important to keep the soil moist but not water-logged.
Spinach is slow to grow and is susceptible to a wide range of insects and diseases, which is why many people think it tastes bitter.
Harvesting and Storage
You can begin harvesting the leaves of the plant when it reaches about four to eight inches tall. Using a knife or scissors, cut off the leaves at the base. Make sure to leave at least two sets of leaves so that the plant can continue to produce food.
If you are growing the spinach to seed, allow it to flower and go to seed. Let the leaves get bigger before you harvest them.
Spinach can be stored for about ten days in a refrigerator if it is placed in a container with water and a paper towel to absorb the moisture. Make sure the container is covered in order to keep out any other contaminants.
You can also freeze the leaves by placing them on a cookie sheet and putting it in your freezer. Once they are frozen, you can remove them and place them in a sealed bag or airtight container and return them to the freezer.
Before using, defrost the spinach and then return it to the refrigerator to keep it from going bad.
Eat It To Beat Disease
Spinach is one of the best vegetables you can eat, nutritionally. It contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help you stay healthy and avoid many common diseases. For example, it contains a lot of Vitamin A which is important for your body’s immune system.
It helps your body fight off bacteria and viruses that can make you sick.
Spinach also has a lot of magnesium, which is important for maintaining the electrical activity of cells. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regulation of blood sugar, and heart rhythm.
Spinach is also high in Vitamin C, which boosts your immune system. It helps protect your body from infection by bacteria and viruses.
Serving Size: 1 cup of raw spinach (67 grams).
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Vitamin A: 60%
Vitamin C: 48%
Vitamin E: 8%
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Taste and Appearance:
The flavor of spinach is earthy and somewhat sweet. When cooked, its color becomes more intense. It can be used in dishes ranging from soups to baked dishes to pasta to tacos to omelets and even pizza.
Be adventurous! The best way to prepare spinach is to wash it well in a vegetable wash or scrub with a vegetable brush then rinse. Smaller baby spinach leaves can just be rinsed and a light trimming off the stems is usually all that is needed.
Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (modern day Iran). The Romans were growing it by the first century A.D.
under the name “A spinach-like plant.” By the 13th century, European merchants were shipping it to countries like Great Britain. Botanical historians disagree as to what plant the word “spinach” derives from. Some say it comes from the Arabic word for spinach, “spinach,” which derives from the word for to swell or to become spongy, after the plant’s effect on the mouth. Others believe it comes from an old English word meaning “thick,” in reference to the texture of cooked spinach.
Of the world’s many types of Spinach, three main groups are generally recognized-New Zealand spinach, leaf spinach, and true spinach. Of these three, only New Zealand spinach is regarded as a growers’ crop. It is also known as Malabar spinach, or mountain spinach, and in the Orient it is called’manyula’, probably derived from an Indian word for lemon because of its lemony taste.
True spinach and leaf spinach are both considered to be garden plants rather than commercial crops.
In 1949 the United States produced 35,000 tons of spinach on 12,000 acres of land. California and Arizona together produce more than 50% of all the spinach grown in the U.S.
The leading varieties are Early Long Green and Winter Bloomsdale. New Zealand spinach is grown commercially only in California, mainly in the Oxnard Plain near Los Angeles.
In England and Tasmania, a variety of New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) is grown for its leaves, which are used in soups, salads, and similar dishes.
In the U.S.A., New Zealand spinach is cultivated extensively in California for its edible leaves, which are cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
How to Prepare:
Wash leaves thoroughly or scrub with a vegetable brush. Trim large stems and central vein. Lightly steam or simmer in a small amount of water, drain, season and serve.
To reduce oxalic acid (which some people are sensitive to), quickly dip the boiled leaves in cold water to stop the cooking and drain well before serving.
Leaves are high in vitamin A and contain considerable amounts of vitamin C and iron. They also contain fair amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Medicinal Action and Uses:
Spinach is a valuable remedy for scurvy, as it contains enough vitamin C to prevent it and enough potassium to relieve the pain of the acute scurvy. It is valuable in all diseases where an addition to the diet of vitamin C is required. The juice of the fresh leaves has been used successfully in dropsies.
It has been found that this juice, taken daily in orange-juice relieves coronaries and clotting of the blood. The dried leaves are not so effectual, but the fresh juice is especially good for children.
As a poultice it has been used with advantage to bursting boils, swelled and hot tumors, in the same way as a mustard poultice. The juice is also recommended to be used like Arsenic for the plague, but it is so slow a poison that it is not likely to be employed.
While other varieties of the same species are eaten in India and Africa under the name of Chor-Chilwa, only the Dept in our country is regarded as a vegetable. Several other species are used medicinally.
Several other species are used medicinally, the roots of T. pumila, a native of South America, are used in N. Argentina as a substitute for Quinine, also T.
expansa, or erva de ega, is used in Brazil as a febrifuge and anthelmintic and in the West Indies, several species are used to treat asthma. In tropical countries the plants are used as purgatives etc. (Medical Botany 1800).
Other Common Names:
Spinach beet, Malabar nightshade, American nightshade, poor man’s asparagus.
Origin and History:
T. esculenta is a native of the East Indies, from whence it was introduced into Europe. It is now extensively cultivated in gardens in this country, but is not a common weed in fields and waste places as is S.fragilis.
It is said to have been introduced into England about 1548, but did not come into general use until about 1699.
This species has large triangular pointed leaves and thick fleshy roots which are eaten cooked, and the young leaves are eaten as spinach. The flowers are small with purple petals and yellow anthers. The berries are white when immature and turn yellow then bright red when ripe.
T. esculenta is readily distinguished from S.fragilis by the broad triangular blade of the leaf, which is pinnatifid and not lobed.
The variety pygmaea is a dwarf kind which is cultivated in gardens for ornament. It has a tendency to run to seed more readily than the normal plant, hence its name.
In some parts of Scotland, this plant is wrongly called “Cockle.” There are several plants known as “Cockles” the common burdock (Arctium lappa) probably being the most common. The seeds of both plants are very similar, but those of cow-parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium) are most often mistaken for them.
Cultivation and Collection:
T. esculenta is cultivated like S.fragilis, being an equally hardy vegetable, but does not have such a strong taste or agreeable flavour, although by careful cultivation and selection it might be improved.
The plant should be cultivated in a piece of ground that has been well manured the previous year and dug over deeply, dividing it into drills about half a yard wide and bedding it with cow manure. The seeds should be sown about six inches apart and thinned out to about a foot apart in the drill. Like most vegetables they should be hoed frequently to keep down weeds and the largest plants separated so as to have them at least a foot apart.
They should be watered consistently but liberally.
When eight inches high they should be cut over close for green leaves and the roots dug and washed. The young leaves may be used either as salad greens or cooked like spinach.
The roots should be scraped and washed and the outside decayed portion cut off, as it has a tendency to cause flatulency if eaten in any quantity.
They may be used boiled, baked or even roasted like potatoes and have a slight mucilaginous property and a sweet taste.
They are good mixed with metch or made into soup with barley.
The tender tops may be used as a potherb, either by themselves or mixed with other greens.
The young roots boiled and mashed are excellent for feeding children.
They can also be sliced and dried in the sun and preserved in the same way as S.fragilis.
The seeds have been found to be very nutritious for poultry, pigeons, etc.
Other Species Used:
SEED TREATMENT AND SOWING:
As this is a biennial plant, it is better to err on the side of safety and sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. (I usually put the fruit, with a few seeds left in it, into the fridge for a week or so before opening it).
The easiest way is to sow the seed in a seed tray or large pot (or small seedling pot if you are really keen) on a layer of grit and just water with a watering can. If you have enough ripe fruit you can just scatter the seeds evenly over the surface, otherwise press them into the surface. Cover with a thin layer of grit and just water, making sure that the surface is well drained (I usually put gravel in the bottom of the tray or pot).
Leave the tray somewhere fairly warm (a windowsill in the greenhouse or on a heated germination mat) and keep the surface just damp.
If all goes well, the seed should germinate in 2-3 weeks. Once up, move to a larger container and plant out in the summer.
The first summer:
You can either plant out in the early spring or late winter. (it is easier to plant out if there are only a few plants, so you might want to thin the seedlings before planting them out). Plant them about a foot apart each way and keep watered and weeded.
If you choose to grow it in a container or short bed (less than 2 feet deep), then just keep well watered.
Sources & references used in this article:
GROWN YOUR OWN PEANUTS… KIDS FUN and DIY EASY. by LPC Guide – auntiedogmasgardenspot.wordpress …
Principles of seed science and technology by DL Baldwin – 2010 – Timber Press
Growing home: Stories of ethnic gardening by B Horvath – 2014 – timber Press