A tropical plant, Malabar Spinach thrives in the heat. Also called Basella, Vietnamese spinach, this vine grows up to 14 feet tall, so you'll want to train it to a stake or trellis. Ideal for soups, salads and stir-fries alike, Malabar Spinach can be prepared as spinach is cooked. Do be careful not to overcook it, as it becomes slimy. Exceptionally nutritious, these varieties are also quite striking additions to the garden. In China the leaves and roots are sometimes used medicinally for digestive problems.