Tetragonia Species, New Zealand Ice Plant, New Zealand Spinach, Warrigal Greens

Tetragonia tetragonoides

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tetragonia (tet-ruh-GON-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: tetragonoides
Synonym:Tetragonia borealis
Synonym:Tetragonia cornuta
Synonym:Tetragonia expansa
Synonym:Tetragonia halimifolia




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage





Foliage Color:




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Del Mar, California

Escondido, California

Los Angeles, California

Ramona, California

Redwood City, California

Vallejo, California

Laie, Hawaii

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Amesville, Ohio

Molalla, Oregon

New Braunfels, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 12, 2017, Miles_Auwe from Pahoa, HI wrote:

I live in a place with 6 to 11 of inches of rain a year, and I only irrigated a few areas. This plant pops up everywhere, and I doubt I'll every get rid of it all. Big ole pain in the arse.


On Apr 26, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant may be often grown as an annual, but is actually a frost-tender perennial that can be overwintered in pots with sufficient lighting if desired.

It is easily grown from seed with high rates of germination - a 24hr presoak accelerates germination time.

It tolerates just about anything, but does best in a warm sunny environment, in moist but well-drained soil.

This plant flowers constantly during the growing season, each tiny yellow flower forming a hard, spiked seed capsule that turns dark and falls to the ground. A few plants will yield hundreds of seeds, which are easily collected. Buy seed once and you'll probably never need to buy it again.

The foliage contains medium concentrations of oxalic acid, so sensitive indiv... read more


On Sep 11, 2008, patronsaintof from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I am just growing this from seed for the first time--right now all I have are tiny seedlings (from germinating them in a wet paper towel). However, I was already fond of this plant from my urban foraging days in San Francisco. It grows well along the sandy beaches on the ocean side (especially at Fort Funston and the end of Golden Gate Park). One reason why New Zealand Spinach is a great wild food to forage in coastal areas is that it does well in soils with high salinity levels, where other plants might struggle. The leaves, consequently, are actually a little salty, and really delicious. I'm sure the ones I grow at home won't be salty, but try some of the wild ones if you can!


On Jul 29, 2008, chicochi3 from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted the seeds for New Zealand spinach in 2006. It comes back every year and makes a nice addition to a fresh salad.


On Dec 7, 2007, stellamarina from Laie, HI wrote:

I just checked on this site because I wanted to be absolutely sure that I had the plant id right. See this plant growing wild on sandy dune areas on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. This morning on my beach walk, after several days of big rain, I found that thousands and thousands of little seedlings had come up.....looked like a lettuce farm! Young and tender free veges for the picking. Anyways it shows that this NZ spinach will live just fine in our alkaline coral sand without any help and it seeds just fine. Aloha


On Jul 13, 2007, VEGGIEHAPPY from New Braunfels, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is so easy to grow, and it loves the heat.
I noticed it says you can't grow from seed, but that's how I grew mine - from a packet of seeds.


On Mar 2, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Not a true spinach, but similar in flavor and usage. Large strong spreading plants branch freely. Small brittle fleshly green leaves, great for fresh summer greens. Thrives in hot weather, will not bolt or get bitter like true spinach. Best when 4" tips of branches are picked all summer and fall. New Zealand native brought to Europe by Captain Cook in the 1770's. Seeds are slow to germinate. 50-70 days.


On Feb 5, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This produced all season long for me in great quantity. It has a nice flavor, and I will plant it again.