One thing I’ve noted since moving is the relative lack of perennial leaf vegetables in use. Some of the root vegetables (tannia, malanga, cassava, etc.) are technically perennial vegetables but grown more like annuals over a season, then harvested. Though you can cook malanga leaves thoroughly and eat them, and the same is true of cassava, I don’t find them to be particularly good.
Malabar spinach can be found in regular cultivation, but edible-leaf hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot) is not to be found. Chaya is common in Mexico but seems to have very limited use elsewhere. I have heard there is a tree some miles from us but haven’t seen it in person and don’t see it in backyard gardens.
Okinawa spinach and longevity spinach are also not seen. Neither is kangkong, though the Chinese research facility near me has some.
A good friend in the states is helping me get some of these species imported and I’m hoping to have some propagative material soon. Perhaps I’ll be the one to popularize these useful vegetables, just as I helped do with my nursery back in Florida.
Chaya is a plant I particularly would like to see take hold as it’s highly nutritious, easy-to-grow and a true, long-term perennial. You can plant it as a hedge and eat leaves for the rest of your life.
My kind of growing!
Kangkong and malabar spinach are growing wild here. A friend sent me some Abelmoschus manihot cuttings recently. Banana heart and sweet potato tops are others we use a lot.
Every now and then I find out one of the weeds I’ve been pulling is also a vegetable.
I haven’t tried banana heart yet.
David, I have a bunch of well rooted Chaya in pots I started from cuttings. Would be happy to give you as much as you need. Plus endless cuttings from the plants I have growing in the yard. If you have some ideas on how I can get them to you affordably from Jacksonville , let me know. Also have Okinowan Spinach growing all over the place as a ground cover that were started from cuttings. You can have some of that too…
Haha, just noticed this wasn’t a new post …