callaloo - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by mcowie
January 16, 1998
I am trying to locate callaloo seed. I ate the greens in Jamaica and think it would grow in Mississippi if I could find seed. Can you help?

Answer from NGA
January 16, 1998
Wow. We had a hunt in our office here for any reference to callaloo. We all think we've heard of it...but can't find any sources. Here are a few leads:

One dictionary described callaloo as a green in the genus "Xanthosoma". (Another said it was a stew made out of greens and crabmeat.) I wonder if callaloo is actually a type of green, or is just a common term for a group of cooking greens used in that dish.

I found one plant, Xanthosoma brasiliense, common name Tahitian spinach, that is native to the West Indies. The leaves are cooked as greens. I couldn't find this specific plant in any of my catalogs, but one company, Seeds Blum (ph# 800-528-3658, e-mail: [email protected]) has what sound like they might be similar greens, including mountain spinach/orach and malabar spinach. You might contact them to inquire if they have heard of callaloo.

Other companies to try are: Bountiful Gardens, ph# 707-459-6410, e-mail: [email protected]
Seeds of Change, ph# 888-762-7333, web site:
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, ph# 804-973-4703, web site:
Nichols Garden Nursery, ph# 541-928-9280, web site:
Native Seeds/SEARCH, ph# 520-327-9123; web site:

I checked these companies' catalogs and didn't find callaloo, but they all feature native and/or unusual seed so they may be able to direct you to a source. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. If you do find any information about callaloo, I would really appreciate it if you would send it on to me. Now you've got my curiosity piqued!

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