Posted by Dewberry
(Austin, TX) on Mar 8, 2022 1:18 PM concerning plant:
WARNING: this plant is not safe to eat during pregnancy. Though edible, the plant should be avoided by pregnant women. The bark, and likely the leaves, flowers, and other parts of the plant, are dangerous to unborn children.
Posted by chickhill
(Tennessee - Zone 7a) on Apr 18, 2014 7:50 PM concerning plant:
I have this growing from seed every year. I have read many different articles about this plant, but I haven't found anything about how bad the "fine looking hairs" will stick into your skin. I use leather gloves when cutting the plants down in fall. Anyone else grow this? Then again, I hope I haven't added this comment to the wrong plant.
Posted by Calif_Sue
(Sebastopol, CA - Zone 9a) on Apr 25, 2014 9:56 AM concerning plant:
Perennial USDA Zones 8b-11, annual elsewhere
Posted by gardengus
(Indiana Zone 5b) on Aug 28, 2014 12:38 PM concerning plant:
I have grown this plant from seed for a few years now in a large 5-gallon pot. It self sows and comes back well. I grow others from seed started early in the greenhouse for earlier blooms.
I have read that it is edible, but I did not find it very tasty.
Wear gloves when handling the mature plants. The hairs stick like cactus hairs.
Posted by SongofJoy
(Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Mar 19, 2012 5:16 AM concerning plant:
This plant is grown for its leaves and for its large flowers ... even the roots can be used. It grows best in tropical and subtropical regions since it is frost tender. However, although it is a perennial, it can be grown as an annual in temperate areas and flowers the first season.
The plant has a single central stem over 6 feet tall and short sparse branches. It grows very quickly. Cuttings taken in spring can reach over 6 feet by fall in sub-tropical areas. It is hardy and prefers a sunny location with rich, moist, well- drained soil. The plants may naturalize. They grow well in an ornamental vegetable garden and are suitable for pots.
The 6 inch wide hibiscus-like flowers are a brilliant lemon with deep purple eyes borne in long pedicels at the apex of the plant. Flowers are produced in the warmer months. The flowers are pollinated by insects. Petals can be added to salads or cooked.
While the large yellow flowers are very ornamental, the importance of this plant is that it is one of the world's most nutritious leafy vegetables due its high protein content. The leaves are tender and sweet and can be served raw or steamed.