Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Emergency or Survival Food Plants.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Hanging yam (Dioscorea sp.)

Pongapong (Amorphophallus campanulatus

Alugbati, Gumamela petals 

Gabi (Colocasia esculenta); ube (Dioscorea alata)

Bagbagkong flowers (botanical description?) 

Cassava (Manihot utilissima), wild gabi (Dioscorea esculenta)


Native sweet potato (Ipomea batatas), tugi' (Dioscorea sp)

Survivors of war, plane crash, shipwreck have a lot of lessons to share, among them are edible plants that kept them alive.

• Talisay (Terminalia catappa) bears nut like fruits that contain small seeds that taste like almond.

• Tibig (Ficus nota.) The fruits are edible and have a good flavor. They are soft and fleshy when mature.

• Isis (Ficus odorata) or isis because its rough leaves are used as natural sandpaper for utensil and wood. Its fruits like tibig are edible.

• Balleba (Vallisnera) is an aquatic plant growing in clear streams, ponds and lakes, whose leaves appear like ribbon, hence it is also called ribbon grass. The leaves are gathered and served fresh with tomato, onion and salt.

• Apulid or water chestnut. Our native apulid produces very small bulbs - only one-third the size of the Chinese or Vietnamese apulid. It grows wild in places where water is present year round. It is boiled, peeled and served.

• Aratiles (Muntingia calabura) bears plenty of tiny berries which are red to violet when ripe. It is sweet and somewhat aromatic.

• Wild sinkamas (Pacchyrhizus erosus) has enlarged roots which may remain in the soil even after the plants has dried up in summer. It is gathered and eaten raw.

• Urai (Amaranthus spinosus). The plant become spiny as it matures. It is the very young plant that is gathered as vegetable.

• Mulberry (Morus alba). Its leaves are the chief food of silkworm. The fruits when ripe are purple to black, and while very small are juicy and fairly sweet.

• Taro (Colocasia sp.). The Palawan gabi grows twice the height of man and produces a large corm. There is a technique in preparing and cooking the corm. Or making starch out of it. The key is thorough cleaning and cooking.

• Gulasiman (Portulaca oleracea) has succulent leaves and stems which are cooked as vegetables.

• Alugbati (Basella rubra) is a twining plant with reddish stems and leaves. The tops are gathered as vegetable which is mucilaginous when cooked.

• Talinum ((Talinum triangulare). The succulent stems and leaves are gathered as vegetable.

Wild food plants include corm of banana, core of maguey (Agave cantala), bamboo shoot, bignay (Antidesma binuis), kumpitis (Clitorea purpurea), kamkamote, rattan fruits, sabawil, alukong, lotus seed, bamboo shoot, puso ng saging, heart of maguey (Agave) wild papaya, corm of banana, botolan (seeded banana), wild mushrooms, cassava tops, many species of seaweeds, and many others. ~

NOTE: Please add others in the category of wild food plants, especially those found in your locality.

Living with Folk Wisdom, book by A V Rotor,  published by UST Manila

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