Chaya, Mexican Tree Spinach (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius)

Chaya, Mexican Tree Spinach (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius)

Regular price $14.95

Cnidoscolus aconitifolius also known as Chaya, aka 'Mayan Tree Spinach' or 'Mexican Tree Spinach', is a large fast-growing and productive perennial shrub.  In Mexico, Chaya is eaten as a leafy green vegetable, and is very common. Chaya is cooked just like spinach and is excellent in stir-fries! It's a great source of protein, vitamins, calcium, and iron and also a rich source of antioxidants. Chaya actually has more nutritional benefit then Spinach. Chaya is quite literally, a super green! 

The plant is native to Central America, and is believed to have originated on the Yucatan peninsula. The stems of the plant are woody and succulent-like, and expel a milky white sap when cut. The plant can quickly grow to a height of 15 ft if growth conditions allow, but can very easily be maintained as low as 2 ft. 

Chaya leaves should not be eaten raw, as the plant contains a toxin similar to cyanide (the stuff in Apple seeds) that is toxic when consumed. Luckily, the poison is easily neutralized by boiling the leaves for 5-15 minutes then straining the water before cooking with. This process is called blanching and is required prior to consumption. 

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Sow Exotic ships nationwide year-round to the United States.  We use plant-based, plastic-free, reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, AND compostable packaging materials. All of our plants ship ready-to-grow in plantable pots (with the exception of citrus) and range in size.  See the size guide on each plant page to learn more about what to expect upon arrival.

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Shipping cost is calculated at checkout based on your order weight and your distance from the nursery. Shipping is combined for multiple orders with plants, so the more you grow, the more you save!  

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Live plant orders are processed at the beginning of each week and ship on Monday-Thursday via 1-3 Day USPS Priority Mail. Order processing time before shipment averages from 1-14 days. 

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As soon as you place your order, you will receive order confirmation and a link to your Order Status Page.  You can view and track your orders progress online any time via your Order Status Page!

When your order ships, we'll send you a shipping confirmation and tracking info to let you know it's on it's way! We'll also send you delivery confirmation as soon as your order has been dropped off!

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Heat Packs & Weather Holds:

Heat Packs
Shipping tropical plants to a cold climate in the middle of winter? We sell Heat Packs! If it's under 32 degrees in your area, we definitely recommend ordering a Heat Pack! Visit our Heat Packs page to learn more and purchase your heat pack. 

Weather Holds
Waiting for the perfect time to plant? You can order now and request a custom weather hold until your preferred arrival date.  Please email care@sowexotic.com to request a custom hold. 

Local Pickup at the Nursery:

Not available at this time.

Shipping to Hawaii & Puerto Rico:

We ship to Puerto Rico! Almost all of our plants ship (bare root, of course) to Hawaii & Puerto Rico. Due to USDA restrictions, here's the list of a plants that we don't ship. 

Plants that DO NOT ship to Puerto Rico: Coffee, Palm, Banana  

Plants that DO NOT ship to Hawaii: Pineapple, Palm, Papaya, Coffee, Banana, Passion Fruit

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How to Grow Chaya

Plant Type: Perennial Herb, Shrub

Harvest Season: Year-round.

Mature Size: Up to 12 ft.

Soil & Moisture: Likes a variety of soil types from rich and moist to dry and sandy. Drought tolerant.

Exposure: Part Shade, Shade

Zone Hardiness: 9+