Asiatic in origin, it is heavily cultivated as a source of spinach in Indonesia and in parts of Africa today, especially in Nigeria, Benin, and Zaire. Does well in cool winter as well as hot summers. Killed by standing water. Serves as a broad leafed warm weather spinach substitute with high protein content. The leaves, young stems and young flower spikes are eaten. It can also be used as a food source for chickens. The first leaf harvests are made 4-5 weeks after sowing. Some weed potential because it reseeds itself.