I tried my hand at growing New Zealand Spinach this year. I sowed several seeds and they all came up, but a few of them do not look like the others! I don't want to accidentally eat something I shouldn't, so can someone identify if this is a weed or just a taller spinach plant? The leaves also have a sandy underside.

Here's a weird looking one

Here's some spinach

And here's everything

1 Answer 1


Congratulations, the taller plants you have are Lambsquarter plants. Considered a weed by everyone I've ever met and it sets up to 75,000 seeds per plant. I suggest killing it with extreme prejudice.

From comments it appears that Lambsquarter is in fact edible and grown by at least a few people as food. It is a fast growing plant, in garden soil it will likely top out over 5 feet tall. If you feel like keeping it around I would at least consider repositioning it, because it will have no problem shading out your spinach plants. And for the sake of next years garden, don't let it go to seed.

  • Ohh fantastic! Time to go murder some weeds.
    – MGZero
    May 31, 2015 at 15:03
  • So I'm reading this is considered wild spinach. Is it possible that some seeds were mixed in with the New Zealand packet? Are these edible?
    – MGZero
    May 31, 2015 at 15:13
  • I was unaware anyone ate the devilish things, but it appears that you can. I still wouldn't let it go to seed. If it came in your seed pack I wouldn't trust that seed source again. Seed companies should be able to get you pure seed.
    – GardenerJ
    May 31, 2015 at 15:20
  • Mm, I've had pretty good luck with them otherwise. I don't seem to have any mix up problems with the other seeds I bought from them. Could have been a fluke I guess.
    – MGZero
    May 31, 2015 at 15:25
  • They're edible. Had one popup in a tray of vegetables I was starting. Wound up giving it to someone that wanted it. May 31, 2015 at 15:33

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