Mysterious Sprouts Have Matured: Now What Are They?

Posted on Nov 29 2010 - 3:31am by Mike Lieberman

There have been mysterious sprouts growing in the containers on my balcony garden for months now.

At first I thought they were old seeds that I had planted and never sprouted, but then I planted in new containers using new soil and the sprouts appeared again.

Some of the sprouts have finally started to mature to the point where they have full leaves. They are dark green in color and hearty like malabar spinach.

I cannot identify what they could possibly be. Are they a weed? Edible? Ornamental? I’ve pretty much thinned them out in most of the containers, but still have some stragglers.

As long as they are an edible, I’m cool. Does anyone have any ideas as to what they could be or how I would go about identifying them?


  • Anonymous

    My first thought was spinach, but I wouldn’t eat it until someone who’s better at this than I am confirms. :)

  • zdanielz

    I think this is Tatsoi – an Asian mustard like green – you can eat it raw in Salads, or stir fry it – it’s yummy.
    Hopefully – I am not mistaken, I wouldn’t eat it if I wasn’t 100% sure though :-)

  • bruce

    i am prettty sure that is tatsoi


    Hmmm, I was going to suggest watercress or lambs lettuce, but now I’ve looked at tatsoi photographs, it’s looking more like that to me… How exciting for you!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. It’s like an added bonus for planting stuff.

  • Mike Lieberman

    That seems to be the consensus at this time. Thanks.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Most seem to think so. Appreciate the input.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Hahaha.Thanks Becky.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree with the consensus, that is definitely tatsoi – also called bok choy. Try it! The baby leaves are especially yummy :)

  • Meemsnyc

    Have you tasted it?

  • Mike Lieberman

    Not yet. Gonna let em grow a bit more first.

  • Fern @ Life on the Balcony

    I was going to say bok choy too. Seems like that’s what everyone thinks. :-)

  • soni

    i aint no expert….can itbe “polk salad”? it still a little small i need to wait till it matures

  • Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the tips. It was def some kind of asian green. I ate it and am still here…for now. So can’t be too bad 😉

  • Aagaardfarms

    Looks like bok choi or tat tsoi – absolutely delightful greens for salad!

  • Mike Lieberman

    Yes. Very much so.

  • Aagaard Farms

    Yes, a bok or tat tsoi – no question!  Yummy!

  • heather

    That’s not poke. And if it were, he’d still be alive, but wouldn’t eat more than a bite. That stuff is BITTER.