Baobab. This is the most widespread of the Adansonia species. I took these photos on the Kenyan coast. Other common names for Baobab include: boab, boaboa, bottle tree, upside-down tree, […]
Allspice is a highly aromatic berry of the pimento tree, one of three major spice crops grown commercially in the Western hemisphere (the other two are capsicums and vanilla). Attempts […]
The prostrate, much-branched Ipomoea aquatica is a plant associated with wetlands, as the latin species name would indicate. The dirty green stems are hollow and fleshy with white sap, growing […]
Note: For more photos see this subsequent post on A. digitata. The Baobab appears to be a somewhat disproportional tree, with a massive trunk and gnarled, twisting branches. The fruit […]
This Piper species is said to be native to West Africa, where it is widely used as a spice/condiment/flavoring. I found it growing in the understory of Kakamega forest in […]
The following is a list of species whose leaves are used as condiments in Southeast Asia. The list is not, by any means, complete, but includes some of the lesser […]
This is a soft twining perennial plant. The stems are fleshy and green, sometimes tinged brownish purple. The leaves can take on a variety of degrees of heart-shape. The small, […]
Ajo Sacha is a climbing vine that has a distinctive garlic-like odor when crushed or cut. The young leaves and tendrils of Ajo Sacha taste like garlic and can be […]
I usually refer to this one as succulent oregano, because it smells like oregano and has fleshy stems and leaves. Filipinos call it oregano. It is called broad-leaf thyme in […]
The Starfruit is from Malaysia and Indonesia, now common throughout tropical Asia and the neo-tropics. Most of the world’s commercial cultivation occurs in Brazil, the West Indies, and Malaysia. The […]
This website explains it all: http://bittermelon.org/
I collected this plant (seed) from a vine growing on an old man’s porch in Boquete. He didn’t know where it came from, but commented that it only bloomed in the afternoon, which I see to be true now that my vine is flowering. The buds develop remarkably fast. As can be observed in the photos, the unopened bud looks like a turbine. In the afternoon it quickly unwinds and blooms into a large, very fragrant flower.
Reportedly, the young leaves and fleshy calyces of Ipomoea alba are edible, so are the young seeds. Leaves and calyxes are eaten cooked, steamed, alone as a vegetable, added to curries and soups.
The whole plant is used as a snakebite medicine.
Hibiscus manihot, or Bele, (syn. Abelmoschus manihot), is a tropical perennial that can grow to over 3 metres high under good conditions. In the Pacific Islands Bele is one of […]