This plant is a short-lived perennial shrub in the subtropics and the tropics but an annual in cooler climates. It grows 2 - 3 m high with large, nearly round, soft green leaves. Young leaves and shoots may be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, stir-fried or added to soups. The large soft leaves can be used to wrap food, similar to vine or cabbage leaves. As the leaves cook quickly, add them last to steamed veges or stir-fry. The leaves contain mucilage, which can give a slightly slimy feel in the mouth. It is a hardy plant that thrives when it is warm and wet. It prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade. Aibika needs ample water and rich, fertile soil that is kept mulched. It is a very nutritious vegetable; the leaves are high in vitamins A and C, and iron, and have 2% protein by dry weight. Weed Warning: Annual types flower and self-sow readily and have the potential to become quite weedy; their seedpods are also very prickly so are best avoided.
Plant Information or Specifications
Sub Categories (HashTags)
Perennial Leafy Greens (#PerennialLeafyGreens)
Learn About Climate Zones
Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions)
Plants required to Pollinate
1 (Self Pollinating)
Learn about Pollination
Can it Handle Frosts?
Amount of leaves in Winter?
All Leaves (Evergreen)
Quarantine Restrictions to these Areas
Is it a Dwarf Fruit Tree?
Can be pruned to 2m
Time to Fruit/Flower/Harvest
Sun or Shade
Preferred Soil Type
February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Customer Comments on Aibika
Create Your Own My Edible Backyard Page and your feedback will appear here.