There are two species of Malabar Spinach, Basella alba, which is green and B. rubra, which has purple stems. The thick mucilaginous leaves are an excellent dark green leafy vegetable for hot and humid climates. Malabar Spinach grows as a spreading vine along the ground or climbing on a trellis; a trellis is recommended to minimize leaf diseases. The young leaves may be eaten raw in salads, the leaves and young stems can be cooked as a potherb mixed with vegetables, the leaves may be cooked separately as a leafy green, and the leaves can be added to soups.

Bangladesh

A large-leafed, vigourous heat-tolerant variety. It produces long, thick vines that do well sprawling on the ground under other plants or trained on trellises. (B. alba)

Green Vines

A green, thin-stemmed climbing variety that thrives in hot, humid conditions. (B. alba)

Green and Red Mix

A mix of 'Green Vines' (B. alba) and 'Red' (B. rubra) Malabar spinach seeds. 

Red

This variety has reddish purple stems. The fruit can be used for dye and jelly. (B. rubra)

AVRDC

Smaller-leafed than Bangadesh variety and vigorous.Leaves and tender stems are eaten as salad, boiled, stewed or stir-fried, or in soups.