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Crystal Hartman Edible Plant Project is in need of your help.
We need 3-4 people who can commit to one weekend day a month to run the weekend volunteer work days.

I have out of town family obligations on weekends and
See More cannot run the work days. This is currently our greatest need.
The nursery is beginning to decline due to lack of involvement.

We need your help.

Nancy Hendler has graciously agreed to run this Sunday (8-2) from 6 am to 10 am.

Nancy has been a major player for epp, but has heat restrictions, so let's pitch in and share the load.

PM me if you have one regular weekend day a month you could donate.See Less
31.07.2015 at 04:27 pmLike
Tad DeGroat can Sat. or Fri31.07.2015 at 05:09 pm
Katie Thomas I'm interested in volunteering whenever yall need help. Please keep me posted :)26.07.2015 at 02:48 pmLike
Nancy Hendler Katie Thomas, we will be there this Thursday from 5 - 7 pm, please come join us.29.07.2015 at 09:26 amKatie Thomas Okay thanks!29.07.2015 at 01:05 pmview 2 more commentsEdulis Exsto Crystal Hartman ...also her and Neil Cammardella are interested in leading future days including the elusive Saturday. They were great to work with this last Sat.31.07.2015 at 04:22 pm1Crystal Hartman Hi there! Please feel free to contact me at 352-214-8179. We will be hosting a work day this Sunday from 6-10 am. You're all welcome to come for any of that time you're available. Nancy Hendler will be hosting. Blessings.31.07.2015 at 04:47 pm1
Annette Gilley Question - Does anyone know if we can grow plantains here in the G'ville area? I don't see them listed for sale at local nurseries or even from Just Fruits.15.07.2015 at 06:45 pmLike
Edulis Exsto The green native plant or the banana like fruit?22.07.2015 at 12:00 pmAnnette Gilley The banana like fruit, for cooking.26.07.2015 at 04:03 amview 2 more commentsAnnette Gilley anybody know? Michael Adler ?28.07.2015 at 05:27 amMichael Adler I wouldn't try. Bananas don't do very well here, don't fruit most years. Plantains are really big bananas and probably take longer to grow than others, so less likely to work.28.07.2015 at 02:10 pm1
Becky Leppard Will you all be having your farmers market sale next month In August? . I would like to send my daughter who lives in Gainesville over to buy some plants for me since I live in Orlando. Thanks27.07.2015 at 05:43 pmLike
Nancy Hendler Becky Leppard, Your daughter can also come to the Greenhouse to purchase plants. There we have a larger selection than what we bring to the Farmer's Market each month.28.07.2015 at 07:52 am
Jd Pierce I've had a lot of trouble fighting this on my kaffir lime tree for quite some time. Spraying it with neem seemed to set the lime tree itself back for a while but perhaps I used too much. It's actuallySee More growing despite this problem, how can I help it?See Less
25.07.2015 at 04:03 pmLike
Annette Gilley Serpentine Leaf Miner. Probably just wait for it to outgrow the damage.26.07.2015 at 04:01 am1
Aunt Maggi Can I use the picture of monarda punctata for the Herb Fest cover photo?24.07.2015 at 07:43 pmLike
Crystal Hartman Of course Aunt Maggi. Thanks for asking!24.07.2015 at 08:02 pmAunt Maggi thank you. :)25.07.2015 at 05:55 pm

Katuk


Katuk aka Sweet Leaf Bush (Sauropus androgynus) is a staple vegetable in Borneo where it grows as an understory tree in the lowland rainforests.

Soil:
Reported to tolerate acid soils, our soil is circum-neutral and they like it. We recommend lime just in case.
Water: Needs plenty, can tolerate brief flooding. Cannot tolerate dry.
Sun: Prefers shade, but can probably tolerate full sun if given plenty of water.
Cold: Will freeze in the winter, but should come back from the stump.
Pruning: Keep pruned to 3-6 feet tall.
Propagation: Easily propagated by cuttings of older wood stems. Strip the leaves and stick it in the ground in the shade. It probably needs cross pollination to produce seeds and all our plants are clones of one individual.
Pests: None known.
Other problems: Tends to grow tall and lanky and then fall over. Growth slows in the winter and the taste is poor until it resumes vigor with warm weather.

Harvesting and preparation:
The leaves and flowers have a pea like flavor. In Borneo, it is often fertilized and irrigated under shade to produce fast growing tips that are very similar to asparagus. According to  it should probably be cooked, though it is also eaten raw.
It has a pleasant peanut-like taste when eaten raw and the cooked leaves taste excellent as spinach. The plant is sold everywhere in Malaysia and nearby countries, where it is grown as an edible hedge. Malaysian scientists have developed a technique for forcing the shoot tips to grow extra long and tender by applying plenty of manure, water and (sometimes) shade. The 5-inch shoot tips (locally called "sayor manis") are sold to upscale restaurants and also exported to Japan, and possibly elsewhere, as "tropical asparagus." I ate these in a hotel in Malaysia and they were outstanding. The chef stir-fried them for one minute.

katuk_plantkatuk_leaveskatuktips_










See also:
http://www.eattheweeds.com/edible-katuk-sauropus-androgynus-2/
http://www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/sweet-leaf.html
http://pixen.wordpress.com/2007/03/09/pak-wan-leaves-pak-whan-pa/
https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&text=Sauropus%20androgynus

Cecilia's Notes
... October 9th 2011

  1.  Originally from Borneo its natural habitat is as an understory shrub. It grows in the tropical rain forest, where 120'' of rain a year was the average. It prefers a hot, humid climate.
  2. Prefers partial shade, with ample irrigation. Able to withstand some temporary flooding.
  3. Grows 6 - 7 ' tall, but will get spindly and fall over if allowed to get this tall. Best if kept pruned between 3 - 6 ' tall.
  4. Can be grown as a hedge, and will produce well for you if pruned regularly. Prolific grower.
  5. Prefers a pH of 7, but will tolerate acid soils..
  6. Will die back in the winter in N. Central Florida, but will usually return in the Spring, unless confronted with a very cold winter.
  7. It is known as tropical asparagus and can be eaten raw or cooked (like spinach). Its raw flavor is reminiscent of fresh peas or peanuts.
  8. It's among a few flora containing Vitamin K.
  9. Said to increase breast milk in nursing mothers.
  10. Plants are easy to propagate from cuttings. It is more difficult to propagate from seeds. It could take up to 6 months for seeds to germinate.
  11. The nutritional value of Katuk is impressive. The following compares its nutritional values with that of Spinach. Actual quantity per ½ cup serving of fresh leaves.
Spinach % Daily Value USDA, 2000 Calorie Diet
Protein: 4.9 g Katuk - 0.43 g: 9.8% Katuk / 0.9% Spinach
Calcium: 51 mg Katuk - 15 mg: 5.1% Katuk / 1.5% Spinach
Iron: 2.7 mg  Katuk - 0.4 mg: 15% Katuk / 2.3% Spinach
Vitamin A: 1122 IU - Katuk 1407 IU: 22% Katuk / 27.6% Spinach
Vitamin C: 83 mg  Katuk - 4.2 mg: 138% Katuk / 7% Spinach

pdf - Katuk information sheet to print out. 

16 comments to Katuk

  • Marvin

    Thank you for the information. A friend just gave us a katuk plantlet and we are wanting to give it optimal growing environment. We live in the rainforest on upcountry slople of (Big Island, Hawaii) Kilauea Volcano, elevation 500m; subtropical with over 200″ rain annually.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated, as our goals here are to propogate plants to help feed our island population. So far, in our six years here, we have developed green crops and fruit to feed ourselves well; with our (almost) total vegetarian diet, we have NOT purchased produce for over four years.

    Aloha, Marvijn

  • ChayaMan

    Leaf Miners a problem here in Central Florida (9b). Any solutions, anyone?

    Grows especially well when sprayed with Moringa oleifera leaf juice, diluted 1:36 with water as a foliar spray!

    Moringa spray = “Just Another of Nature’s Best-Kept Secrets!” :) Check it out!

  • I just recieved my first Katuk plant(4 cuttings) from a friend in our rare fruit club. I should be able to have some growing this summer.

  • Chacha Mantagge

    How can I get a katuk plant cuttings to grow?

  • This is from Michael:
    Katuk cuttings can be rooted as easily as most other rootable cuttings, using standard procedures.
    Getting them to do much growing afterwords is another story. They might just like it more tropical than we have in Gainesville.

  • Linda

    Does anyone know how I could get a cutting in Mexico. A friend of mine used to grow it but I
    do not know where to get it now???
    I am on the costalegre near Manzanillo, Colima
    Thanks.

  • hi patricia … i am not sure this link is a good one …. it takes you to an animal rights website ….

  • Mary Kay

    I am growing katuk on the east side of my deep-south Florida house. It didn’t grow much the first year, but with this summer’s EXTRA heavy rain (2013)it is really taking off! Lots of water may be the key to getting it to grow best. You might be able to get cuttings from Echonet.org if you email and ask for them.

  • Floria

    I am from Sarawak (East Malaysia) on the Island of Borneo but now living in Houston, TX. I bought some for veges.. from the Asian Stores here, tried to plant them few times but most were dead. Last year, I tried again, only 3 made it through the winter. Arrhh.. I love this veges. This year my friend from Florida sent me lots of stem cuttings. First batch, didn’t make it due to the extreme heat of summer we have here. Second Batch, about 10 came up and are now about 5-6 inches tall. What I am worried is that, they will die during the winter. :( How can I keep them alive for next year?

  • i don’t know floria … i suggest you post this comment on our facebook group wall – we have a lot of members and at least one of them may be able to answer your question: please join our group if you haven’t already done so! https://www.facebook.com/groups/edibleplantproject/

  • We also have trouble with the Katuk. We’re no longer promoting it. It doesn’t like the winters here and doesn’t like sun either. We keep ours in the shade. It often looks sickly, and we’ve taken to calling it “kaput.” It propagates well from cuttings, and seeds if they’re fresh enough. If you want them to survive the winter, you must make sure they don’t freze.

  • John

    Floria,

    Make sure your Katuk is planted in a well draining soil. If there is standing water during the cold, the root will rot. The roots are shallow and spreads wide. I too have it planted in Houston area. Once your plant matures, it will spread by roots. I don’t do anything special, it comes back every year from the stems and root. If you get died back from the freeze, wait till spring to cut back the dead stem. You want the mature stems, because it will grow back faster. These growth will be like a bush. From the root, you will get fast single young edible shoots. You will want to cut these when they are about 2 ft high to cause branching. The new plant from root can come up several feet away from the main plant. Since the root are shallow, you can put a border two inches into the ground to stop the spreading.
    Since yours are only 6 inches tall, I suggest you dig it up and put in a pot. The root will be shallow. They may not survive cold temperature and water. Put the plant in the garage from December to March. Don’t let the soil dry, but not wet either. Pretend it is a sponge. If you drop the pot, and water comes out, it is too wet. Our Houston area clay soil is near neutral pH, do not put lime in there. You will kill your plant.
    The trick in propagating Katuk is to use the most mature stems you can find. The stem you get at the grocery store is too young to get fast mature plants. Grow the plants in shade. That is usually the east side of your house wall during the summer. Water it everyday during the summer to keep the plant tender. If your plant does not live through the winter, let me know.

  • Lee

    Mary Kay– I also am in south Fla….my Katuk is doing ok in a pot …about 3 ft tall, but I want to grow more from cuttings. Have you used that process?…Do I just cut off a lower branch and place in wet soil in a pot? We are new to this..any suggestion would help.
    Thank you

  • John, Thanks so much for all the tips for propagating Katuk. I was given seven cuttings last fall and none of them rooted. I just bought two Katuk plants from Edible Plants and it looks like one of them is not leafing out but one of them has tiny little buds. I would love to have a whole hedge of Katuk since I really like the taste. Much better than Moringa but Moringa is much easier to propagate from seeds.

  • We grow katuk, have hundreds of plants. Every time I cut off a stem, I strip the leaves off, cut it into 3 pieces and stick it back in the ground. Leaf cutter ants loved it in the beginning and I guess they ate their fill, nothing bothers it now. We eat it as a spinach and raw as a salad, or just pick and eat. It goes into pasta, rice, stews, soups, sandwiches, eggs, stir fry, katuk pesto, into bread dough and on pizza…. Love it!!

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