Evergreen perennial leafy green super high in calcium and protein and tastes like fresh green peas and doesn’t go soggy or lose colour when cooked.
Got your attention?
The Sweet leaf bush is a fabulous little treasure that not many know about. It is so easy to grow in subtropical climates being a shrub that grows to 2.5m I was lucky enough to be passed on some cuttings from a gardening friend to be planted in our new garden. Grown commonly in Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, India and now my backyard J it is fast growing in tropical and subtropical climates during cold spells will go dormant. It doesn’t like frost.
The sweet leaf will tolerate acid soils, heavy clay, sand and even 95% shade. No need for feeding either but it does like some mulch. I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with this one.
The leaves from the top 15cm of the tips are the part mainly eaten and taste like fresh green peas with nutty undertones. Can be eaten raw in salads and cooked in stir fries, soups, egg dishes, rice and the bonus is the leaves keep their colour and texture. The pretty little purple flowers and fruit can also be eaten. It will grow to 2-3m. It is also super easy to grow new plants from cuttings.
And just what else do you need to know to become a Sweet leaf advocate?
* Well it has high levels of crude protein, as well as a large range of minerals and vitamins such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. It is reputed to have more potassium than Bananas.
* Can be used as a nurse plant for tender vegetables especially when you consider just how hot our summer can be.
* 4 months from propagation to harvest!! Now that’s moving.
* And wait for it, if you are into dyeing using plants (botanical dyeing or eco dyeing) the leaves can produce a lovely green colour depending on fabric being used.
Where to get one? If you know anyone who already has a plant, cuttings are super easy even for the brownest of thumbs. Or you can buy plants from places like Daley’s Fruit Tree Nursery. www.daleysfruit.com.au