The hand-lettered label for smaller specimens added a final horizontal stroke, and on recognizing "poi" my immediate thought was young taro plants. But the leaves were wrong for taro, too: These were thick and rumpled, shaped more like ovals than arrowheads. Malabar spinach, also called poi baagi, poi callaloo, and by many other names, seems a likely I.D., even though it's native to southern India and widely grown only in the tropics.
In spring, many businesses in Little Guyana set out similar greenery for hopeful gardener-chefs. Expertise with foodstuffs is not a prerequisite; from across the street, one multi-tiered display largely concealed the windows of a plumbing-supply store. Spice World's selection, as intriguing as any, also included saime, which at maturity yields something like snap peas, though with pods stained a purplish brown.
123-21 Liberty Ave. (123rd-124th Sts.), Richmond Hill, Queens