Auntie Lilli's South Sea Salad Tree, known by the... more
Abelmoschus manihot - Auntie Lillis South Sea Salad Tree
Auntie Lilli's South Sea Salad Tree, known by the Latin name of Abelmoschus manihot, isn't a tree at all. It is in the botanical family Malvaceae, same as okra and the woody-stemmed hibiscus. It may have the growth of a shrubby tree due to its tropical nature, as it is native to tropical portions of Asia and also northern Queensland and can grow up to 9 feet tall when given the right conditions. The South Sea Salad Tree has been a traditional green vegetable in Fiji for some time. It is grown as an tender ornamental perennial in Hardiness Zones 8-10. It does have a beautiful flower, but lesser known is the fact that both its flowers and leaves are delicious as well as nutritious! The laves are high in Vitamins A and C and Iron, and have 12% protein by dry weight. Leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in salads, and the leaves can also be lightly cooked similarly to spinach. Delicious, nutritious and a beautiful flower - talk about a perfect edible plant for tropical/subtropical landscapes and temperate annual gardens and patios.