Petiole App in Action: Fascinating Spinach

Petiole App in Action tells about case studies, when our mobile app helps to accurately measure plant traits. Today we speak about spinach 🌱
Maryna Kuzmenko, Co-Founder at Petiole
by Maryna Kuzmenko | 6th May 2016 | 5 min read
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As you probably know, when we worked on Petiole App, we thought only about one specific plant – poplar. Yes, we wanted to help with leaf area measurement for poplar trees and nothing else! However, then we have discovered that our mobile application Petiole, can help to get plant data about any plant. Hence, today we’ll tell about one of our most favourite (and most delicious!) plants – spinach, and how Petiole app helped to measure the area of its leaves.

Basic facts about spinach

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is an annual plant species, that originated in Persia. This leafy green vegetable was probably brought in the 14th century by the Arabs to Spain, from where it spread to other countries by the 16th century (George 1985). This plant is nowadays an important horticultural species since its leaves have been used worldwide in human nutrition.

There are numerous spinach cultivars, which differ by the seed form, leaf texture, leaf colour, shape and pose as well as petiole length. Photo credit: Unsplash

In developed countries, up to 80% of spinach produced is processed as canned or frozen food (Pavlek 1982). The classification of numerous spinach cultivars is based on seed form (round or prickly); leaf texture (smooth or crinkled); leaf colour, shape and pose, and petiole length. There are, further, early and late cultivars, which differ in time of stem elongation out of the leaf rosette (George 1985).

All leaf vegetables are important sources of minerals, which in spinach leaves contribute up to 1.8% of dry weight. The specific nutritive value of these leaves lies in their relatively high iron content (4–6 mg per 100 g dry wt). And it is hence recommended for anaemic persons and children. Spinach leaves are also a rich source of β-carotene (= provitamin A), vitamins of the B group, and ascorbic acid (Schuphan 1961).

A disadvantage of spinach is its high nitrate content (up to 3000 mg NO3/kg). In fact, during transport and storage nitrite arises by a reduction in quantities. The nitrate content is higher in petioles than in leaf blades. Fertilizers and other growth conditions can impact on this aspect (Breimer 1982). Oxalic acid, which is abundant in leaves, may also cause dietary disorder due to its ability to bind calcium ions (Pavlek 1982).

Petiole App for Spinach Leaves Area

We have made a brief video about measuring leaf area for spinach leaves. The main stages of measurement spinach leaves area with Petiole Pro mobile application are the following:

  • download Petiole Pro and launch this mobile app;
  • log in with any of your account;
  • give permissions to use camera;
  • choose Leaf Area Meter in the toolbox;
  • calibrate camera of smartphone;
  • check how accurate is the leaf area meter;
  • put a spinach leaf in front of the camera and save its area to the mobile phone;
  • find an average leaf area as well as total leaf area and specific leaf area for each leaf.

Please, watch the process in the video below: Spinach Leaves Area measurement with Petiole Pro, mobile app for advanced measurements in horticulture and floriculture

Case Study: Spinach Leaf Area Measurement with Petiole App

Firstly, we have chosen eight leaves of spinach. You can see them in a picture below. Then we launched our mobile application Petiole and measured area of each leaf. Simultaneously, we measured chlorophyll content for these spinach leaves. As a result, we got the following data: Leaf area measurement of spinach leaves with Petiole, mobile applicationPetiole in action: leaf surface area measurement & estimation of the level of chlorophyll in spinach (Spinacia oleracea) leaves

  • Estimated time of measurement: 2 minutes 43 seconds
  • Total leaf area: 162,5 square centimetres
  • Average dark green index: 0,452

If you need to measure leaf area of your crops then you can download Petiole Pro and get accurate measurements. Please, let us know about any thoughts or ideas. We are open for collaboration and want to make plant leaf data more accurate and agriculture more sustainable.

Want to increase sales? Cartoon hero Popeye, the Sailor man says: “Easy peasy Japanesey!” In the 1930’s U.S. growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption. As a result, it was a welcome boost to the industry during the depression era. The spinach growing town of Crystal City, Texas, even erected a statue of Popeye in 1937. Interesting facts about Spinach by the Team of Petiole App

“I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.” “I’m strong to the finish ’cause I eats me spinach“. However, cartoon hero Popeye has been banned in some countries because he smokes a pipe.

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