|Ragweed, Gynura crepidioides|
|Okinawa Spinach (Gynura bicolour)|
|Gynura crepidiodes, a common weed in the Bellingen valley|
"Gynura crepidioides Benth. is a synonym of Crassocephalum crepidioides""Crassocephalum crepidioides, also called ebolo, thickhead, redflower ragleaf, or fireweed, is an erect annual slightly succulent herb growing up to 180 cm tall. Its use is widespread in many tropical and subtropical regions, but is especially prominent in tropical Africa. Its fleshy, mucilaginous leaves and stems are eaten as a vegetable, and many parts of the plant have medical uses. However, the safety of internal use needs further research due to the presence of plant toxins. " Ref: Wikipedia
Grows well in soils that are rich in organic matter. Often cultivated as a food crop in the tropics, the plant has light, plumed seeds that are easily distributed by the wind. It has escaped from cultivation in many areas and become an invasive weed in some places.
Edible UsesLeaves - raw or cooked. A distinctive, pine-like flavour. The leaves are fleshy, somewhat mucilaginous with a nutty flavour]. The tender and succulent leaves and stems of ebolo are mucilaginous and are used as a vegetable in soups and stews, especially in West and Central Africa. It is much appreciated for its special flavour, which is sharp but not bitter. In Sierra Leone the leaves are also popular and are made into a sauce with groundnut paste. In Australia it is eaten as a salad green, either cooked or raw" Ref: Useful Tropical Plants
Also Search for Gynura crepidioides in Google Book 'Vegetables' for an excellent article.
Also of interest: Birds Nest Fern
Farmers Friend aka Blackjack (Bidens pilosa), a common weed in our valley,
are grown as edible crops in Africa and Asia!!!