Spinach (Lapathum hortense) is a Persian plant which has been
cultivated in our gardens for about two hundred years; and
considerably longer on the Continent. Some say the Spinach was
originally brought  from Spain. It was produced by monks in
France at the middle of the 14th century.
This is a light vegetable, easily digested, and rather laxative,
besides having some wonderful properties ascribed to
its use. Its
sub-order, the Saltworts (Salsolaceoe), are found growing in
marshes by the seashore, and as weeds by waste places, serving
some of them to expel worms.
Spinach, says John Evelyn, if crude, the oft'ner kept out of
Sallets the better; but being boiled to a pulp; and without other
water than its own moisture, is a most excellent condiment with
butter, vinegar, or lemon, for almost all sorts of boiled flesh, and
may accompany a sick man's diet. 'Tis laxative and emollient, and
therefore profitable for the aged. Spinach is richer in iron than the
yolk of the egg, which contains more than beef. Its juice produced
in cooking the leaves without adding any water is a wholesome
drink, and improves the complexion.
It was with a delicate offering of gammon and spinach in his
hands, Mr. Anthony Roley, of nursery fame, went so sadly a
Ranula furtivos statuebat quaoerere amores:
Me miserum! tristi Rolius ore gemit.
Ranula furtivos statuebat quoerere amores,
Mater sive daret, sive negaret iter.
A wild species of Spinach, the Good King Henry, grows in
England, and is popular as a pot herb in Lincolnshire.