Curry Leaf Tree – Bergera koenigii

Paul Plant

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Related to citrus, the Curry Leaf Tree also has aromatic leaves which have a distinctive curry like fragrance and taste. The tree is also known by other common names such as Currybush and Indian Bay.

Records show it is native to China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It is however widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates around the world.

A small tree in stature, 3-6m tall, it is highly ornamental due to its pinnate leaves, fragrant white flowers in summer and the black berries that follow.

In small gardens, grow this plant in a large pot to keep the dimensions in check. This also provides the convenience of harvesting the leaves when the container is close to the kitchen.

Topics covered are:

  • Culture
  • Uses
  • Propagation
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Six
Bergera koenigii, Murraya koenigii.
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Arno King



One of the widely grown leafy vegetables in tropical and the subtropical regions of the world is the Amaranth. Being so popular, it has amassed a range of names including Chinese Spinach, Calalloo, Bayam and Tampala. The name Amaranthus is Greek for non-fading, referring to the long lasting habit of the flower.

Amaranthus species grow in a wide range of locations across the globe with some adopted as vegetables in South America, Africa and Asia. The plants we grow today for their nutritious leaves include selections of Amaranthus blitum, A. cruentus, A. dubius, A. tricolor and A. viridis. Amaranthus caudatus, A. cruentus and A. hypochondriacus are grown for their seed.

Amaranths are also grown as ornamental annual plants for their ornamental foliage in reds, yellows and purples or their attractive flowering habit. They are known in other countries as Prince of Wales Feathers, Love Lies Bleeding or Chenille Plant. Many cultivars are both highly ornamental and edible and hence ideal candidates for a potager or ornamental vegetable garden.

Topics explored briefly are:

  • Cultivation
  • Harvesting and Use
  • Cultivars
From a 3 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Six
You will sometimes see Amaranthus for sale at the supermarket or grocer.
The green Amaranthus is a vigorous plant.
Amaranthus ‘Garnet’ is a stunning addition to the vegetable garden.
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Asian Greens

Claire Bickle







Asian cooking has become very popular across the globe and with this rise in popularity comes the best bit, we are now needing and wanting to grow a wide range of greens, herbs and vegetables to suit and create these mouth watering dishes.

The great thing about the majority of these plants is that many are very easy to grow in subtropical and tropical climates. An added bonus is that most of these plants are quick growing too.

Most of these plants originate in China, Japan and South East Asia. People in these parts of the world have been using these edible greens for millennia and they add a great range of vitamins and minerals to their varied dishes.

With the rise in the popularity of Asian cuisine across the world a lot of these greens have now become household vegetables with many generations cooking with them on a regular basis.

The article looks at:

  • Culture
  • Uses
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Great kitchen companions

Asian Greens featured are:

  • Tatsoi (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis)
  • Bok Choy / Pak Choy (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis)
  • Wom Bok / Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis)
  • Mizuna (Brassica rapa subsp. nipposinica)
  • Mibuna (Brassica rapa subsp. nipposinica)
  • Red Mustard (Brassica juncea)
  • Kang Kong / Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica)
  • Kailan / Chinese Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra)

A quick recipe for Chicken and Crispy Noodle Asian Greens Salad is also thrown in for good measure!

From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Six
Red Pak Choy.
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Malabar Chestnut – Money Tree / Provision Tree / Saba Nut – Pachira glabra

Barbara Beerling



The genus Pachira has 24 species, three of which have edible seeds: Pachira glabra, Pachira aquatica and Pachira insignis. All species are native to Mexico and Central America. Pachira glabra and Pachira aquatica are also both commonly known as the Malabar Chestnut.

The Malabar Chestnut (Pachira glabra) is an ideal subtropical food tree that is drought, disease and flood tolerant. It has been named by the United Nations as the Provision Tree because of its importance to developing nations and its ability to provide sustenance in harsh conditions.

In the family Malvaceae, subfamily Bombacaceae, which includes the highly ornamental Red Silk Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba), the Malabar Chestnut has spectacular clusters of 10cm creamy white ‘shaving brush’ style self-fertile flowers which are fragrant at night.

This article also touches on:

  • The Tree
  • Propagation
  • Other Uses
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Six
Seed pod.
Pachira glabra flower.
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Blue Quandong, Cooloon – Elaeocarpus angustifolius (syn. E. grandis)

By the Queensland Bushfood Association (QBA)
John King



Blue Quandong is a large ornamental fast growing rainforest tree found growing naturally from Nambucca River in Northern New South Wales to Coen in North Queensland. It grows in wet sclerophyll and rainforests near the coast and along creeks, streams and rivers in the ranges.

The shiny green leaves of this tree turn red just before they fall to ground.
The young tree tends to be frost tender, but will re-shoot in the spring. Once it reaches above 2-3m it becomes more frost tolerant.

Three recipes for Coconut Sour Cream, Cooloon Jelly and Cooloon Curd is also available.

From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Six
Cooloon flowers.
Cooloon red leaves.
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