Elatostema reticulatum (URTICACEAE); Rainforest spinach, soft nettle

Rainforest Spinach
Ellatostemma reticulatum - foliage - Paul Donatiu 2002
A herbaceaous plant to about 30 cm tall in subtropical rainforest, along streams in the bed-low bank position, or in otherwise wet sites. From southern NSW to north-east Queensland.

Leaves are alternate, ovate-elliptical up to 20cm long and 7cm wide with an uneven base and serrated margin.

Flowers are greenish-creamy coloured, occurring on peduncles which arise from leaf axils from December-May.

Fruit is inconspicuous achenes.

Lush appearance makes it a most useful plant for shady, well-watered positions.

The leaves and young stems are edible and can be used as a substitute for spinach.

Easily propagated from cuttings.

The aborigines boiled it in bark or in large sea-shells.

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Rainforest Spinach
Ellatostemma reticulatum - flower - Paul Donatiu 2002