back to HYPP Zoology home page


[R] Spinacia oleracea L. (Chenopodiaceae).
Fr: Epinard; Ge: Spinat; Sp: Espinaca; It: Spinacio; Pt: Espinafre.
- Annual or biennial dioecious plant (*) .
- The principal European producers are Italy and France.
- There are winter varieties and spring varieties.
- It is cultivated for its leaves, that are consumed cooked, and that are harvested before the flower stem appears. They may be stored or consumed fresh just after picking. In the case ofstorage, harvesting is performed either as a high cut, before the leaves attain their maximal size, for spinach "in branches", or as a low cut, close to the soil, for chopped spinach.
- Spinach is most often cultivated in open fields, sometimes as a "catch crop". Harvesting is 4 to 7 weeks after planting, which occurs in spring or autumn, depending on the variety.
- Diseases: for the most part, those of beets, but virus diseases (CMV) and downy mildew (Peronospora spinaciae) can be especially damaging.
_ Principal European pests: the mangold fly (Pegomyia hyosciami) is the most serious pest, because of the tunnels it carves in leaves.
The black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) and the peach-potato aphid (Myzus persicae) colonize the leaves.
Also causing damage are the turnip moth (Agrotis segetum), the dark sword-grass mpth (A. ipsilon) on the seedlings, and the tomato moth (Mamestra oleracea) on the seedlings, the beet cyst nematode (Heterodera schachtii) on the roots and the silver y moth (Autographa gamma) on the leaves.

[R] Images

* Spinach (Minost C.)
1: Spinach plant, 4-leaves rosette.
a: root; b: cotyledon; c: leaf, entire, dark green, more or less blighted.
2: flower stem.
a: leaf; b: inflorescence.

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line: Species (scientific names), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

HYP3 : HYPP Phytopathology.

back to HYPP Zoology home page