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Velvet plant (Gynura bicolor)

The colorful leaves and flowers add interest to meals and iron to the diet.

Flowers of G. bicolor

Flowers of G. bicolor

Common Names
Velvet plant, redflower ragleaf, fireweed (En); ebolo (Fr); ginura (Sp); 紅鳳菜, 紫背天葵 (Cn)

Plant Distribution
Southeast Asia, South Pacific, tropical Africa

Edible Parts
Succulent, tender leaves and shoots are eaten boiled or stir-fried, or added to stews and soups.

Health Values
Beta-carotene: medium in tender leaves; vitamin E: low; riboflavin: low; ascorbic acid: low; calcium: medium; iron: extremely high; protein: 1.5-2.0%. Leaves are rich in mucilage and flavonoids.

Read more: Velvet plant, in Discovering Indigenous Treasures: Promising Indigenous Vegetables from Around the World. 2009. AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center.