Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wild Vegetables in Times of Hunger

The rainy season guarantees ample supply of fruits and vegetables, including wild food plants which spontaneously grow virtually anywhere, so that it is safe to say no one should die of hunger even in extreme condition. 

Dr Abe V Rotor

Edible Fern (Pako') - Athyrium esculentum)

Dampalit (Sesuvium portulacastrum)
Gulasiman or ngalog (Portulaca)

Himba-ba-o or alokong (Alleanthus luzonicus)

Papait (Mollogo oppositifolia)

Male flowers of squash (Cucurbita maxima) and saluyot tops (Corchorus olitorius)

Top, clockwise: Lima beans or patani (Phaseolus lunatus), wild amargoso or ampalaya (Momordica charantia), wild eggplant (Solanum melongena), and male flowers of him-baba-o or alokong (Allaeanthus luzonicus)

Unopened flowers of bagbagkong (dagger shaped vegetable)

Other wild vegetables:
  1. Young leaves of cassava or kamoteng kahoy (Manihot utilissima)
  2. Petals of Gumamela (Hibiscus rosasinensis)
  3. Young leaves of kamkamote (Ipomea triloba)
  4. Amaranth or spinach (Amaranthus spinosus) - seedling stage
  5. Flowers of madre de cacao or kakawate (Gliricida sepium)
  6. Corm of banana (Musa sapientum)
  7. Ubod or pith of maguey (Agave cantala)
  8. Talinum (Talinum quadriculoare)
  9. Flower of katuray (Sesbania grandiflora)
  10. Corm of Palawan gabi (Colocasia sp)

Often referred to as wild food plants or hunger crops, these and many others, perhaps hundreds, provide an alternative source of food and nutrition on the grassroots in times of poor harvest and calamities like drought. Being native or indigenous they survive extreme conditions of the environment, they need very little care, if at all. Ethnobotany, the study of plants and their uses in primitive societies, is gaining recognition in the light of economic crisis. It offers a solution to poverty and malnutrition. Culinary delight comes in various food preparations from native vegetables. Photos by Abe V Rotor.

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