Chaya: Cnidoscolus chayamansa

Also known as Mayan spinach, Chaya is a perennial leafy green vegetable shrub originating in Central America. Chaya is one of the most care free and drought tolerant vegetables in the world. Although Chaya is frost sensitive the plant will usually resprout from the base after a freeze or woody cuttings can be taken in (before frost) and replanted in the spring. Chaya is highly nutritious, containing nearly twice the nutrients per serving as spinach. Chaya must be cooked thoroughly before eating, as the raw plant contains hydrocyanic acid like its popular relative cassava, which is denatured through cooking. The small white flowers of Chaya are extremely attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.

To purchase a Chaya plant send an email request to, or call us at (727) 439-6700. To learn more about uncommon vegetables, join us for one of our exciting workshops. Our current schedule is available by clicking here.

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