By S.O. Olanrewaju Disu
In our Lagos Area Metropolitan markets, the "ewedu"- the long fruited vegetable, is a very popular and useful vegetable. It is available in our markets all year round. It is so important that even during the dry seanson, some farmers engage in dry season farming specially to cultivate "ewedu" vegetables in swampy areas. During the rainy season, on the orher hand, the "ewedu" vegetable is expressly cultivated by battalions of farmers and gardners.
The botanical name of "ewedu" is "Corchorous Olitorius, Family Tiliaceae"It derives its English name, the long-fruited vegetable from the appearance of its fruit. Though the fruit of the vegetable is edible i.e usage against fever locally- it is often kept for seed multiplication and propagation.
The "ewedu" or the "long fruited" vegetable is a semi-woody herb that can grow up to 90cm high and its widepsread in the tropics. The leaves are the valued part of the plant and are much favored as a spinach vegetable, and in soups and sauces. They are mucilaginous, a condition graetly appreciated by the populace. The leaf is rich in protein and is reported to have a high mineral content. Nutritionally, the leaves are recommended to counter malnutrition. The "ewedu" or the long "long fruited" vegetable is very useful indeed!
Photo: (A) Vegetableseller displaying the "ewedu" vegetables at the expansive "Mushin Market"
(B) The "ewedu" the long fruited vegetable at close range.