This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This vegetable, which belongs to the same family as the beet (Chenopodiacase), appears to have been unknown to the ancients, unless, as some authors think, it might be the Chrysolacanon of Dioscorides or the Blitum of the Romans; but the properties described as belonging to these plants, make it very uncertain what species is really intended, as several of this order of plants have been, and are still, used for cooking and salads. Spain is supposed to be the first European country into which Spinach was introduced. Miller, in his " Gardener's Dictionary," says: "Perhaps the Spaniards had this plant from the Saracens; but by some it is considered to be indigenous to Spain, as many of the old botanists - such, for example, as Bock - call it Olus Hispanicum. Ruellius and others name it Atriplex Hispaniensis".