Lagos Spinach (Celosia argentea)
Celosia argentea, or Lagos spinach may be the “prettiest of all vegetable crops,” but like many of the plants cultivated for food in parts of tropical Africa, it’s more than just a pretty face. Celosia argentea is used as an ornamental in gardens worldwide, but it is not often planted for food outside of West Africa. It is an important source of spinach in Nigeria and Benin. The nutritious composition of this African spinach, and its nature to flourish in malnourished soils make it a good contender for food forests.
Lagos spinach grows naturally in the humid lowlands of Africa, where rainfall and sunshine are abundant. Celosia argentea is a fairly easy-to-grow plant that will grow easily, despite its glossy, frivolous-looking flowers that will bloom in the late summer.