Chinsaga (Cleome Leaf)
Related to ornamental Cleome, chinsaga is shorter (around 3 ft. high), bushier, and grown for its edible leaves. It is a bitter green, sometimes compared to mustard, and is full of nutrients and vitamins, and high in protein. A few of its many common names are shona cabbage, African cabbage, spiderwhisp, cat's whiskers, and wild spider flower. Originating in Africa, it is a rapidly spreading plant that has become established throughout Asian and American tropics. It is used as an anti-inflammatory herb, and is often eaten by pregnant and breast-feeding women. In much of Sub-Saharan Africa, its leaves and shoots are eaten boiled or in stews, and in Uganda and Tanzania it is often prepared with groundnut paste. In Thailand and Northern Malaysia, chinsaga is fermented in rice water and served as a pickled condiment known as phak sian dong and jeruk maman, respectively.
Our seeds originate from a plant shared with us by Joseph Mbura who grows some of his traditional Kenyan vegetables in a garden across from the high school where he teaches in Roxborough, Philadelphia.
Days to maturity: 60
Seeds per pack: 150
Germination rate: 57% on 04/05/2021 (below standard)
Planting / harvesting notes
Seed keeping notes