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Native to tropical Asia but now grown widely in the tropics as a perennial and in warmer temperate regions as an annual. Is not cold tolerant; and needs night temperatures above 14C (60F). Best suited to humid regions. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions but does best on slightly acidic (pH 6-6.7) humus-rich sandy loams. It is easy to cultivate but a trellis is recommended. Seems to tolerate nematodes in some cases. The thick mucilaginous leaves are an excellent hot weather spinach substitute. 70 days.