Warrigal Greens – also known as Warrigal Spinach, New Zealand Spinach or even Botany Bay greens – were one of the first native Australian vegetables to become popular with early settlers. Looking for ways to fight scurvy, Captain Cook encouraged his men to eat them, and many convicts owed their lives to the spinach-like plant. The plant was taken back to England by the botanist Joseph Banks and became popular there for a time.
Some caution should be taken with Warrigal Greens, as the leaves do contain toxic oxalates, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. To remove the oxalates blanch the leaves for 3 minutes, drain, then rinse in cold water before using them in salads or for cooking.