Saccharum edule, terubuk, duruka, Fiji asparagus, dule ,pitpit, naviso

Saccharum edule, terubuk
duruka, Fiji asparagus, dule ,pitpit, naviso


Saccharum edule is a perennial plant that grows in vigorous clumps that grow to a height of 1.5 to 4 metres (4 ft 10 in to 13 ft 1 in).[1] Although the plant resembles sugarcane from a distance, the stem is much narrower and the leaves thinner and more flexible. The large flower panicles do not open but remain inside their leaf sheaths forming a dense mass.[2] Saccharum edule is part of the Saccharum officinarum species complex and its genome has been investigated.


Saccharum edule originated in south eastern Asia and is also grown on various Pacific Islands at heights ranging from sea level to high altitudes. It needs a growing temperature of 20 °C (68 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) and an annual rainfall of 1,500 to 3,000 millimetres (59 to 120 in).


The unopened flower heads of Saccharum edule are gathered and used as a vegetable, eaten either raw or cooked.[1] In Fiji, a number of different varieties occur and some grow wild along the riverbank. Children enjoy gathering, roasting and eating the flower heads of the early season red duruka, and later the different varieties of white duruka as they mature in rotation. The flower heads are widely sold in local markets for use as a vegetable. A purple duruka which flowers twice a year has been introduced and become popular and it is proposed that a canning operation be set up to sell this as “Fijian asparagus”.[2] The plant is also used for erosion control.

Gynura procumbens

Gynura procumbens, Sambung Nyawa,
Daun Dewa, Leaves of the Gods, Mollucan Spinach, Sam Akar, Akar Sebiak, Kelemai Merah and Bai Bing Cao

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This plant has high medicinal properties, and widely use locally to control Cholesterol, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. Its can be eaten raw or boil and drink like tea for controlling those illnesses.

This plant are easily grown from cuttings, its best to use the young shoot about 5 ~ 6 inches in length and plant it in the growth media direct. It also require shade during their initial period of growth, I recommend 1 months or until you see new leave form.

Cosmos caudatus

Cosmos caudatus, ulam raja, kenikir


Cosmos caudatus is an annual plant in Cosmos genus, bearing purple, pink, or white ray florets, and capable of being found worldwide in tropical areas.

The plant is edible and its common names include ulam raja, literally meaning “the King’s salad”.[1] It was brought by the Spaniards from Latin America, via the Philippines, to the rest of Southeast Asia.[1] Ulam, a Malay word used to describe a preparation that combines food, medicine and beauty is the widely popular Malay herbal salad. As a Malaysian delight, it is served throughout the country from major hotels for tourists to buffet lunches or dinners for the locals.

Ulam Raja is an annual plant growing up 2 m in height. The leaves are soft and pungent while the stem is light green with a purplish hue and succulent. As night falls the leaves fold to close the terminal buds as the plant literally sleeps. The flowers can be found solitary or in a loose clusters and are produced on a single stalk on auxiliary heads.


The Malay people believe that the herb is good for health and contains anti-aging properties or awet muda, and that it tones up blood circulation, strengthens the bones and promotes fresh breath.[citation needed]

In Indonesian cuisine and Malay cuisine the leaves of this plant are used for salad.

Urap and pecel, both are type of Indonesian salad. Both are different in dressing, one with cooked grated coconut and spicy peanut sauce

– Grow vegetables under trees

Grow vegetables under trees


Vegetables do well under trees. They can help smallholding farmers earn a good income and transform low-production farms into purposely managed, diversified and ecologically robust agroforestry systems.

The argument was made in a new book, Vegetable agroforestry systems in Indonesia, which details action research with farmers to develop sustainable tree and vegetable systems for steeply sloping hillsides.

According to James M. Roshetko, co-author of the book and a senior scientist with Winrock International and the World Agroforestry Centre, farmers in Nanggung, West Java, who traditionally grew vegetables in full sunlight, were delighted to find that they could successfully cultivate vegetables under a canopy of trees.

The seven vegetables he and his team tested did as well or better in medium shade than under full sunlight.

‘In the understory of mixed trees with medium-light levels, the production per plant of amaranth, ‘kangkung’, eggplant, chili, tomato and “katuk” was around 100 to 300% superior to production under full sunlight. Even in understory with heavy shade, those seven vegetables produced up to 139% more than those in full sunlight”, he said

An array of vegetables was tested, including common ones like eggplant, chili, tomato, green bean and long bean, as well as indigenous Indonesian vegetables like amaranth (Amaranthus), ‘katuk’ (Sauropus androgynous), ‘kangkung’ (Ipomoea aquatica), ‘kemangi’ (Ocimum americanum), ‘honje’ (Etlingera giseke), ‘kucai’ (Allium tuberosum), ‘legetan’ (Spilanthes iabadicensis), ‘pegagan’ (Centella asiatica), ‘beluntas’ (Pluchea indica), ‘kenikir’ (Cosmos caudatus), ‘sambung nyawa’ (Gynura procumbens), and ‘terubuk’ (Saccharum edule).

The indigenous vegetables fetched higher prices in the market than the others. They were highly nutritious and many had medicinal or other valuable properties. For instance, katuk is used to improve the flow of milk in breastfeeding mothers, kenikir has beautiful flowers used for decoration, while the flowers of honje are edible.

However, the transformation of traditional, subsistence agriculture into market-oriented production is a formidable task, particularly if the benefits and risks are unclear.

In particular, the researchers found that farmers’ weak links with traders and their post-harvest handling and processing were potential bottlenecks to increasing vegetable production.

For instance, a large and ready market for fresh katuk leaves existed in the cities of Jakarta and Tangerang, with daily demand from farmers in nearby Ciampea alone exceeding 15 tonne, worth US$2935 per day at a farmgate price of US$0.20 per kilogram.

Pharmaceutical companies were able to buy 5 tonnnes of dried katuk leaves from the farmers every day, at US$1.20 to 1.80 per kilogram. It took about 4 kilogram of fresh leaves to make 1 kilogram of dried.

So, economically, drying the leaves should have been attractive, increasing price margins several-fold. However, the researchers found that farmers often sold the leaves fresh because they lacked the experience, capital, technology and confidence to efficiently dry them.

‘To capitalize on lucrative markets, farmers as well as traders needed to improve post-harvest handling and storage. Farmers, in particular, had to combine improved production and processing to increase the quantity and quality of yields. Once they achieved the standards needed for commercial orders, they could command premium prices in lucrative markets. Understory vegetable farming allowed them to intensify their farming by adding another, valuable “story” to their farms, without needing to expand their land area’, said Roshetko.

Ujjwal Pradhan, the regional coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre’s Southeast Asia Program, said the research had helped improve farmers’ incomes and also protect the environment.

‘Because their land was under-productive, many local communities were forced to utilise the neighbouring Gunung Halimun National Park, a major watershed for Jakarta, leading to environmental degradation.

‘Through intensifying vegetable production on the farmers’ own plots, without clearing any new land, benefits flowed not only to the farmers of Nanggung but downstream as well, in the form of improved water quality’, Pradhan said.


The work in Indonesia was part of a research project called, ‘Agroforestry and Sustainable Vegetable Production in Southeast Asian Watersheds’, that took place between 2006 and 2010 in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Companion volumes were published from research in each country. The program was led by the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and funded by the United States Agency for International Development, with complementary support from partners. It brought together a team of 28 scientists from several prestigious US and Southeast Asian universities and research organizations, including Institut Pertanian Bogor, World Agroforestry Centre, World Vegetable Centre and Mars Incorporated.

Amaranthus cruentus

Amaranthus cruentus, blood amaranth,
red amaranth, purple amaranth, prince’s feather and Mexican grain amaranth

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Amaranthus cruentus (Marathi:”राजगिरा” rajgira, “श्रावणी माठ” shravani maath) is a tall annual herb topped with clusters of dark pink flowers. The plant can grow up to 2 m (6 ft) in height, and blooms in summer to fall. It has now naturalized in most states. It is believed to have originated from Amaranthus hybridus, with which it shares many morphological features. This species was in use as a food source in Central America as early as 4000 BC. The plant is usually green in color, but a purple variant was once grown for use in Inca rituals.

In Maharashtra, it is called as shravani maath (literally माठ grown in month of Shravan).


The seeds are eaten as a cereal grain. They are black in the wild plant, and white in the domesticated form. They are ground into flour, popped like popcorn, cooked into a porridge, and made into a confectionery called alegría. The leaves can be cooked like spinach, and the seeds can be germinated into nutritious sprouts. While A. cruentus is no longer a staple food, it is still grown and sold as a health food.

In Maharashtra, during month of Shravan, a stir-fried vegetable with just grated coconut is served during festivals. The stem is used in curry made with vaal hyacinth bean.

It is an important crop for subsistence farmers in Africa

Amaranthus blitum

Amaranthus blitum, purple amaranth

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Amaranthus blitum, commonly called purple amaranth is an annual plant species in economically important plant family Amaranthaceae.

Native to the Mediterranean region, it is naturalized in other parts of the world, including much of eastern North America.[1] Although weedy, it is eaten in many parts of the world.[2] The Greeks call the Amaranthus blitum var. silvestre, vlita (Greek: βλίτα), and eat the leaves and the tender shoots cooked in steam or boiled and then served with olive oil, lemon and salt.

Amaranthus dubius

Amaranthus dubius, Red spinach,
Rau Den, Chinese spinach, Spleen amaranth



This plant is native to Asia, Europe and Africa. It was introduced into Florida, the West Indies and South America. In Tamil Nadu (India) this is named as “Araikeerai”. In general ‘Keerai’ means ‘greens’ in Tamil.


Usually it grows to a size of 80-120 cm. It has both green and red varieties, as well as some with mixed colors. The green variety is practically indistinguishable from Amaranthus viridis.

It flowers from summer to fall in the tropics, but can flower throughout the year in subtropical conditions. It is a ruderal species, usually found in waste places or disturbed habitats.

Amaranthus dubius is considered to be a morphologically deviant allopolyploid. It is very close genetically to Amaranthus spinosus and other Amaranthus species.


This species is valued as a leafy vegetable throughout South and Southeast Asia[1] and also in Africa.[2]

In Cambodia, it is known as “Ptee” (ផ្ទី) where the leaf is used in cooking and to dip in a sauce base call tuk krueng(ទឹកគ្រឿង).

In India it is known as Thotakura or Koyagura (Telugu), Cheera ചീര (Malayalam), Kheerey (Kannada), Maath (Marathi) and Chauli or Chavleri Sag (Hindi).

It may be eaten raw in thoran or cooked in curry[3] and bhajis.[4]

In the Bantu-speaking regions of Uganda it is known as Doodo[5] and is commonly cut very finely and cooked with onions and tomatoes or sometimes mixed with a peanut sauce. It is called Mchicha in Swahili and is known as ‘Terere’ amongst the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru of Kenya, and as Telele by the Kamba of Kenya.

In Indonesia, the bicolor variety (green with red streaks) is known as Bayam and in Thailand as ผักโขม (Phak khom).

It is used as an herbal remedy in traditional African medicine.

Ipomoea aquatica

Ipomoea aquatica, Kangkung,
water spinach, river spinach, water morning glory, water convolvulus, Chinese spinach

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Ipomoea aquatica is most commonly grown in East and Southeast Asia. Because it flourishes naturally in waterways and requires little, if any, care, it is used extensively in Burmese, Thai, Lao, Cambodian, Malay, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, especially in rural or kampung (village) areas.

The vegetable is also extremely popular in Taiwan, where it grows well. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in World War II, the vegetable grew remarkably easily in many areas, and became a popular wartime crop.

It has also been introduced to the United States, where its high growth rate has caused it to become an environmental problem, especially in Florida and Texas. It has been officially designated by the USDA as a “noxious weed”[4] (the term “noxious” refers to its effect on the environment, not to any toxicity).

In non-tropical areas it is easily grown in containers given enough water in a bright sunny location. It readily roots from cuttings.

The plant when eaten raw may transmit Fasciolopsis buski, an intestinal fluke parasite of humans and pigs, causing fasciolopsiasis.[5]

Culinary uses

Penang kangkung blachan

Thai pak boong fai daeng

The vegetable is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian dishes. In Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, the leaves are usually stir-fried with chile pepper, garlic, ginger, dried shrimp paste (belacan/terasi) and other spices. In Penang and Ipoh, it is cooked with cuttlefish and a sweet and spicy sauce.

Chinese cuisine (Chinese: 空心菜; pinyin: kōngxīncài; literally “hollow vegetable”) has numerous ways of preparation, but a simple and quick stir-fry, either plain or with minced garlic, is probably the most common. In Cantonese, the water spinach is known as 蕹菜 (Jyutping: ung3 coi3, sometimes transliterated as ong choy). In Cantonese cuisine, a popular variation adds fermented bean curd. In Hakka cuisine, yellow bean paste is added, sometimes along with fried shallots.

In Cambodia, where it is called Trakuorn, kangkong is known to have a few types. The popular type is the usual local water plant, used in many traditional dishes. One type is known as Chinese Trakuon grown as a straight stalk plant from soil. This type is known to be used in stir fry with pork or just with marinated soy beans (sieng). The Khmer popular dish using kangkong is in sour soup with fish or chicken. Kangkong is also eaten raw or cooked along with other vegetables in dip dishes, e.g. toeuk kroeung (a sour/salty taste dish, with roughly minced fish mixed with lemon juice, crushed peanuts, basil and fish paste flavour).

In Thailand, where it is called phak bung (Thai: ผักบุ้ง), it is eaten raw, often along with green papaya salad or nam phrik, in stir-fries and in and curries such as kaeng som.[6]

In Laos, where it is known as pak bong (ຜັກບົ້ງ), and in Burma, where it is called ga zun ywet, it is frequently stir-fried with oyster sauce or yellow soybean paste, and garlic and chillies.

In Vietnam, I. aquatica (known as rau muống) once served as a staple vegetable of the poor. In the south, the water spinach are julienned into thin strips and eaten with many kinds of noodles. As well in the south, it’s commonly cooked in a sour soup (Canh chua), with tomatoes, other vegetables, and with various seafood and/or meat. It is used as a garnish, as well. Rau Muống is also commonly sauteed with chopped garlic, oil (or pork fat) and fish sauce, and served as a common side dish in many meals. It’s a common ingredient of Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnamese seafood canh chua

In the Philippines, kangkóng is usually sautéed in cooking oil, onions, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce. This dish is called adobong kangkong. It is also a common leaf vegetable in fish and meat stews, such as sinigang. An appetizer in the Philippines, called crispy kangkong, uses the leaves coated with batter and fried until crisp and golden brown.[7]

In South India, the leaves are finely chopped and mixed with grated coconut to prepare thoran (തോരന്‍), a Keralan dish.

In Bangladesh and West Bengal, it is known as kolmishak (কলমীশাক) and stir-fried preparation of the leaves is a very popular dish.[8]

In Kuching, Hokkien Dielect called it Eng Cai. It is usually fried with fermented krill “belacan eng cai”, boiled with preserved cuttlefish then rinsed and mix with spicy rojak paste “jiu hu eng cai”,[9] boiled eng cai also used to serve with fermented krill noodle “belacan bee hoon” and prawn noodle.[10]

Medicinal uses

Studies conducted with pregnant diabetes-induced rats have shown a blood sugar lowering effect of Ipomoea aquatica by inhibiting the intestinal absorption of glucose.[11] This is very important in managing gestational diabetes and preventing side effects in mothers and their babies.

Allium tuberosum

Allium tuberosum, Garlic chives
Chinese chives, Oriental garlic, Chinese leek, kow choi, gau choy, kucai

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Both leaves and the stalks of the flowers are used as a flavoring in a similar way to chives, green onions or garlic and are used as a stir fry ingredient. In China, they are often used to make dumplings with a combination of egg, shrimp and pork. They are a common ingredient in Chinese jiaozi dumplings and the Japanese and Korean equivalents. The flowers may also be used as a spice. In Vietnam, the leaves of garlic chives are cut up into short pieces and used as the only vegetable in a broth with sliced pork kidneys.

A Chinese flatbread similar to the green onion pancake may be made with garlic chives instead of scallions; such a pancake is called a jiucai bing (韭菜饼) or jiucai you bing (韭菜油饼). Garlic chives are also one of the main ingredients used with Yi mein dishes.

Garlic chives are widely used in Korean cuisine, most notably in dishes such as buchukimchi (부추김치, garlic chive kimchi), buchujeon (부추전, garlic chive pancakes), or jaecheopguk (a guk, or clear soup, made with garlic chives and Asian clams).

In Nepal, cooks fry a curried vegetable dish of potatoes and A. tuberosum known as dunduko sag.[5]

In Manipur, India, garlic chives locally known as ‘maroi nakuppi’ are widely used in Manipuri Cuisine dishes like Ooti and various others.

In Philippine cuisine, garlic chives—known as kutsay in Cebuan and Tagalog, and as 韭菜 kú-chhài in Lan-nang—are used as filling in empanadas called kutsay pies.