This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.

Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves and stem tips - raw or cooked[1]. A pleasant mild spinach flavour[2], the leaves can be used as a spinach or added to salads[3]. Do not overcook the leaves or they will become slimy[2]. The mucilaginous qualities of the plant make it an excellent thickening agent in soups, stews etc where it can be used as a substitute for okra, Abelmoschatus esculentus[2]. A nutritional analysis of the leaves is available[4].

An infusion of the leaves is a tea substitute[3].

The purplish sap from the fruit is used as a food colouring in pastries and sweets. The colour is enhanced by adding some lemon juice[3].

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

A red dye is obtained from the juice of the fruits[2]. It has been used as a rouge and also as a dye for official seals[4].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Astringent - the cooked roots are used in the treatment of diarrhoea[2][5].

Laxative - the cooked leaves and stems are used[2][5]. The flowers are used as an antidote to poisons[4]. A paste of the root is applied to swellings and is also used as a rubefacient[6]. The plant is febrifuge, its juice is a safe aperient for pregnant women and a decoction has been used to alleviate labour[4].

The leaf juice is a demulcent, used in cases of dysentery[4]. It is also diuretic, febrifuge and laxative[4]. The leaf juice is used in Nepal to treat catarrh[6]. A paste of the leaves is applied externally to treat boils[6].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow March or April in a warm greenhouse. The seed requires a minimum temperature of 18 - 21°c in order to germinate[5], it germinates within 10 - 21 days at 20°c, pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water shortens the germination time[2]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots of fairly rich compost and grow them on fast, planting them out after the last expected frosts. Stem cuttings[1]. These can be taken in the late summer, overwintered in a greenhouse and then be planted out in late spring or early summer.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Basella alba. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a well-drained moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter and a warm sunny sheltered position[1]. Prefers a sandy loam[2]. Tolerates fairly poor soils but does much better in rich soils[2]. Tolerates high rainfall[2]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 7.

A frost-tender perennial, it is not hardy outdoors in Britain but can be grown as a spring-sown annual[1]. A fast growing plant, capable of producing a crop within 70 days from seed in a warm climate[1][5], though it requires a minimum daytime temperature of 15°c if it is to keep growing vigorously so it seldom does well outdoors in Britain[5]. It does tolerate low light levels plus night temperatures occasionally falling below 10°c, and so can do well in a cold greenhouse[2]. Plants do not flower if the length of daylight is more than 13 hours per day[1]. Widely cultivated for its edible leaves in the tropics[1], there are some named varieties[3]. It is an excellent hot weather substitute for spinach[3].

Some authorities recognize three different species, B. alba, B. rubra and B. cordifolia[2], they are all treated here as being part of one species[K].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Basella alba. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Basella alba.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Basella alba
Genus
Basella
Family
Basellaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
10
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    9 x meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

    "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.51.61.71.8 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? 2.002.012.022.032.042.052.062.072.082.092.102.112.122.132.14 Larkcom J. Oriental Vegetables John Murray ISBN 0-7195-4781-4 (1991-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.5 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.64.74.8 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.5 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Vegetables Macmillan Reference Books, London. ISBN 0 333 62640 0 (1995-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)

    "image:Basella alba-2.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Basella alba"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyBasellaceae +
    Belongs to genusBasella +
    Has binomial nameBasella alba +
    Has common nameIndian Spinach +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part + and Leaves +
    Has edible useColouring +, Unknown use + and Tea +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone10 +
    Has imageBasella alba-2.JPG +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye +
    Has mature height9 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntidote +, Aperient +, Astringent +, Demulcent +, Diuretic +, Febrifuge +, Laxative + and Rubefacient +
    Has primary imageBasella alba-2.JPG +
    Has search namebasella alba + and indian spinach +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameBasella alba +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheClimber +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba +, Basella alba + and Basella alba +