Source: various internet sites
Lagos spinach (Celosia argentea) is a leafy vegetable that is popular in Nigeria. There are a number of varieties including a narrow leaf, wider leaf, green and redder leaf types. It is also known as ulo or fluted gourd. The plant is grown for its edible leaves, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Lagos spinach is a tropical plant that thrives in warm, humid conditions. It can be grown in the ground or in containers. The plants need full sun and well-drained soil that has been enriched with manure or well rotted compost in order to thrive.
How to grow lagos spinach
To grow Lagos spinach, start by planting the seeds in well-draining soil in a sunny spot. The plants will need to be watered regularly, especially during hot weather. The soil must be well drained as the plants will not tolerate having wet roots.
Once the plants are established, they will need to be thinned out so that they have enough room to grow.
Remove any flower heads after flowering to encourage growth. Lagos spinach is a tropical plant that can grow up to 2 metres in height. Lagos spinach is a fast-growing plant. The seeds usually germinate within 7-10 days. Once the plants are established, they will need to be thinned out so that they have enough room to grow.
An unusual annual leafy vegetable, it is easy to grow in most climate zones and is drought tolerant. The leaves, young stems and young flower buds are used cooked. The leaves have a soft texture and a mild spinach-like taste. It is known to self-sow. Suitable for temperate, subtropical and tropical areas. In Nigeria it is traditionally called 'soko yokoto', which means "make husbands fat and happy"
In a world where hunger and poverty are issues with a large percentage of the population, technology and education are wanting, and agricultural resources are often scarce, a farmer is thankful for low-maintenance crops that will grow with a minimal input of effort and resources. Lagos spinach (Celosia argentea) is such a crop. A little-known, underexploited leafy vegetable,