Botanically termed as 'spinacia oleracea', spinach is a flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. This annual plant is one of the most popular green leafy vegetables of Southeast Asian Countries. It can grow upto the height of 30 cm. For centuries, this dark green vegetable has been widely used as a source of food in Asia, and it had reached Europe by the eighth century CE. It gains recognition when a celebrated cartoon character of 'Popeye' uses this green vegetable as its power-boosting tonic.
Spinach plants are grown for their edible green leaves. This plant needs temperate climate and may survive over winter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2-30 cm long and 1-15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3-4 mm diameter, maturing into a small hard dry lumpy fruit cluster 5-10 mm across containing several seeds. When allowed to grow unharvested, this annual plant will go to seed in the late summer, allowing the leaves to die off.
Sources: Spinach ? Indian Spices ? S Kumar and Company, http://indianspice.co.in/product/fresh-fruits-vegetables/fresh-vegetables/spinac (accessed January 23, 2017).