Also known as
Strawberry Spinach, Beetberry, Strawbini, Strawberry Blite, Strawberry Goosefoot, Indian Ink, Eye-Hurt, Indian Strawberry, Squaw Paint
Chenopodium capitatum Strawberry Blite 2048px by Ram-Man (CC BY-SA 2.5)
3 months to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
Strawberry Sticks Overview
Blitum capitatum is an annual plant that produces attractive looking bright red strawberry-like fruit on leafy green stems, said to have a nutty flavour that can be added to salads or pot herbs like spinach. Commonly known as Strawberry Spinach or Strawberry Sticks these plants make an fun addition to the garden, however the fruit are not as tasty as Strawberries they resemble they can still be added to salads or used as food colouring. Occasionally sold as Chenopodium capitatum, this N. American native prefers a sunny fertile spot and will flower from June to August. With the added bonus it is less prone to bolting in hot weather, meaning you can crop the younger leaves for longer.
How to harvest Strawberry Sticks
Leaves - only pick a few leaves before the plant is established (45 to 60 days) and use straight away. Roots - parsnip like with a hint of beetiness, they can be used fresh or added to stews and soups. Seed - Harvested in autumn, the small black seed will need to be soaked overnight, rinsed and thoroughly dried. Store in a cool dry place for use the following year
How to propagate Strawberry Sticks
Sow seeds indoors from February onwards. Place trays or modules in frost free but cool conditions such as a greenhouse or cold frame. Germination should occur after 14days. They do not like being transplanted, so prick out seedlings into individual pots as soon as the first pair of true leaves emerge. Plant out after the last frosts spacing them 20 to 40 cm (8 to 16") apart. Direct sowing - After the last frosts, sow them 12mm (1/2") deep in rows 45cm (18") apart where they you want them to grow. After germination, thin seedlings to 20 to 40 cm (8 to 16") apart.
Special features of Strawberry Sticks
Can be grown in large containers for ornamental or edible use.