World’s First True Red Spinach Variety Released

SALINAS, California —USDA Red, the world’s first true red spinach variety has been developed and released by the Agricultural Research Service.

Spinach has always been known as a green leafy vegetable. There are leafy vegetables often called red spinach. But these are actually red-leaf amaranths (Amaranthus spp.) or other plants such as Red Goosefoot (Blitum rubrum), not true spinach (Spinacia oleracea). There are currently some true ”red” spinaches on the market, but the red color is limited to the veins of the leaves. The red-veined spinach variety Bordeaux is a parent of USDA Red.

Spinach consumption (and production) in the United States dropped from 2.3 pounds per person to 1.6 pounds in 2006 following an Escherichia coli outbreak in 2006, and it has never fully recovered.

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