Moku, Tani, Aimbe
Mushroom plant originated in New Guinea and is a perennial, thick clumping bush which grows to 1 metre with a glossy, darkgreen leaf canopy. Ovate-shaped leaves to 8cm long, form on the soft stems at node-like segments, 3 – 8cm apart. The leaves taste like mild mushrooms. The plant has bright blue, lip-like flowers which open intermittently.
Mushroom plant leaves can be used as a substitute for mushrooms in soups, salads and stir fries. Whe cooking it is best to add the leaves at the last minute so they retain the brightness in their chlorophyll-filled leaves.
People who suffer from fungal conditions such as candida and thrush and are not able to eat mushrooms due to the fact that they are a fungus, will find they can enjoy the mushroom plant to their hearts’ content, as it is not a fungus.
Mushroom plant will tolerate most soils although it prefers a moderate to rich loam and it dislikes waterlogging. Plant it in full sun to medium shade. It will survive light frosts with only slight damage.
It grows easily from cuttings. It is best to propagate it during the wet season or in spring in cooler areas. Cuttings 15 – 20 cm long can be planted three to four to a hole. Strip the leaves off the bottom half of the stems and bury to half their length and keep moist. When established the cuttings shoot from the roots and quickly form dense clumps. In moist climates this technique can be used to create an edible ground cover. Space plants 60 cm apart.
Regular picking is recommended, as this keeps the plant bushy and productive.
Leaves are extremely rich in chlorophyll, therefore, valuable for blood cleansing and building. Mushroom plant leaves have 3% protein (higher in protein than mushrooms); calorie content 33 per 100 grams of leaves, calcium 272mg to 100 grams of leaves (this makes it extremely valuable as a food, as the calcium content is considerably higher than most foods). The plant is also considered to be a rich source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and iron.
No companion planting information is available at this time.