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Hardy, leafy annual (Spinacia oleracea) of the goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae), used as a vegetable. The edible leaves, somewhat triangular and either flat or puckered, are arranged in a rosette, from which a seedstalk emerges. Spinach requires cool weather and deep, rich, well-limed soil to give quick growth and maximum leaf area; sowing seed every two weeks from early spring to late summer provides a steady supply. A nutritious vegetable, spinach is rich in iron and vitamins A and C.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on spinach, visit Britannica.com.