Chaya, Mexican Tree Spinach (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius)

Chaya, Mexican Tree Spinach (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius)

Regular price $12.95
8 in stock

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. 

Naturally grown, sustainably delivered. 

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Important Shipping Information

Sow Exotic ships nationwide year-round to the United States and Canada with plant-based, plastic-free, reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, AND compostable packaging materials.  Plants ship ready-to-grow in plantable pots and range in size.  See the size guide on each plant page to learn more about what to expect upon arrival.

Shipping & Handing Cost
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!  

Order Processing & Shipping Schedule
Live plant orers 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. 

Tracking Your Order
You will receive shipping an delivery confirmation emails with tracking information once your order is on it's way.  We also send you a link to your Order Status page in your Order Confirmation email.  You can track the progress of your order online and sign up for step-by-step tracking alters via your Order Status Page and/or USPS Tracking Page.

Heat Packs & Weather Holds

Heat Packs
Heat Packs can be purchased separately and are necessary for orders shipping to cold climates under 32 degrees. Visit our Heat Packs page to learn more and purchase your heat pack. 

Weather Holds
If you prefer not to ship your order with a Heat Pack and would like to request a custom winter or summer weather hold until your preferred arrival date, please email shipping@sowexotic.com.  

Local Pickup at the Nursery

Both Nationwide Shipping and Nursery Pickup options are available at checkout. Choose the day/time for your pickup at checkout. We're offering curbside pickup at the nursery entrance. Orders that choose Nursery Pickup but really need Nationwide Shipping will be invoiced upon request for the shipping cost + a $15 fine. Visit our Local Pickup page to learn more.

Shipping to Hawaii & 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 few plants that don't make the cut. Plants that DO NOT ship to Puerto Rico include: Coffee, Palm, and Banana plants.  Plants that DO NOT ship to Hawaii include: Pineapple, Palm, Papaya, Coffee, Banana, and Passion Fruit plants.

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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+