Having moved to a warmer frost free climate, I am researching perennial spinach substitutes. I prefer the bolder look of trees and shrubs to vegetable beds. Ramie is pretty and grows to 1.8 m and might be able to withstand short frosts. My own plants are still small and I will see how it grows in different soil conditions. According to literature it likes well-drained soil in part shade. Ramie is a member of the nettle family but without the sting.
Ramie is one of these discoveries and I have yet to cook with it. Traditionally it is used to make Banh It La Gai (Little Ramie Rice Cakes)in Vietnam.
However, ramie is like nettle a plant that prefers moist fertile soil. If exposed to wind the margins dry up, while the plant doesn’t die it look not all that pretty anymore.
Ramie is also used as a fibre plant and has been used for textiles since ancient times.