Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Article 53: "AMUNUTUTU" OR EUROPEAN HERB, INDIAN SPINACH, OR "MALABAR NIGHT SHADE"






By S. O. Olanrewaju Disu



In Lagos area, the rainy season is more or less our "vegetables" season:annuals, perenials as well as those appearing sub spontaneously. The above named vegetable with a long list of names is an Afro-Asian plant. Locally, it is known as "amunututu" which literally means "a cool appetiser to the stomach" and also 'Toromoganna", which means 'a wall climber".

This vegetable is succulent, scrambling twiner. Historically, it is a polymorphic Afro-Asian plant, but its now dispersed across the tropics by man. It is both an annual and/or short lived perennial. It is scientifically known as "Basella alba, Family Basellaceae"It is easily raised from seed and by cuttings. It is known to tolerate conditions of high humidity but prefers a drier tropical climate.

The species of the above named vegetable that are available in our markets are usually green, but sometimes also dark red and the leaves are eaten as a vegetable. The leaves are said to be high in calcium and iron and to be a good source of vitamins A, B and C. Inmdigenes nick named this vegetable as "seje sooro" meaning "causing blood to yield freely"

No comments:

Post a comment