The kind of tree with fallen leaves that no one picks up is a specialty only in the West, priced at 4 $/kg

Posted by Staff of goGardenNow on

An article recently published in Vinlove, a Vietnam Tourism site, was promoting the virtues of the weevil tree (Cynometra ramiflora). While the common name doesn't sound so appealing, its uses are intriguing. According to the article, "In the provinces of the Mekong Delta, there is a tree that people often plant in their gardens for shade. Moreover, people often pick the leaves of this plant to use as raw vegetables, served with some dishes."

"...Weevils are also known as silk leaves. The reason they are so named is that the leaves of the plant are light green and smooth like silk. This is a vegetable often found in Southern meals or cakes. Not only that, but this plant is also effective in treating a number of diseases according to Eastern and Western medicine methods."

The tree is also valuable for timber, and is host to a species of honeybee in its native habitat. Because the honey is so difficult to reach, and their defense against intruders so vigorous, ascending into the tree canopy is said to be an intrusion into the spirit world fraught with peril.

I've searched for the species online without success. If you have one, consider yourself fortunate. They are beautiful, useful and valuable, even though they are very common in Southeast Asia and parts of the south Pacific region.

Learn more about Cynometra ramiflora here and here.

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