About Bellingen Seedsavers

We are a group of like-minded growers of useful heritage plant varieties in the Bellingen area of northeast New South Wales, Australia.

Our climate varies from frost-free coastal areas to inland river valleys and highlands with frosts. Bellingen has an average annual rainfall of 1507ml.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Ragweed, Gynura crepidioides. Is it a local edible weed?

Ragweed, Gynura crepidioides
 Some articles conflate Okinawa Spinach (Gynura bicolour)) with Ragweed, Gynura crepidioides. Sometimes both plants are depicted, cut and bundled, in Asian vegetable markets.

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. [2]" Ref: Wikipedia

"Cultivation Details


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 Uses

Leaves - 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 

Spider plant (Cleome gynandra)

Farmers Friend aka Blackjack (Bidens pilosa),  a common weed in our valley,

Blackjack

 

are grown as edible crops in Africa and Asia!!!

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