Using Spinach in the Lab


You don’t have to eat your greens – you can bring them into the lab and use them for investigating photosynthesis instead. Fresh spinach leaves make a great resource for TLC.


Teaching Topics

  • Chromatography
  • Photosynthetic pigments


Spinach, Spinacia oleracea

Spinach is a leafy, green vegetable grown as an annual. Recorded to have first been cultivated by the Persians. Modern breeding techniques have reduced the calcium oxalate levels, which in older varieties caused a bitter-tasting leaf.

Growing and sourcing

Obtaining: Easily sourced from greengrocers, markets and supermarkets. To keep the leaves fresh, you may wish to look for bundles of spinach leaves with longer stalks, cut the ends off and put them in water.

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