The spicy leaves can be eaten raw and cooked.The attractive leaves can be used to wrap tasty foods such as spiced rice and ginger. Soaking the leaves in cold water with a little sugar for 2 hours before use subtly alters the flavour. The white flower spikes develop into a small fruit that can be eaten. Betel leaf has many traditional medicinal uses.
Betel leaf is an evergreen, perennial creeper to 90 cm. It has shiny heart-shaped leaves with small white flower spikes. It prefers a rich, well-drained soil with partial shade. It likes to be kept moist but does not tolerate water-logging. Frost will damage the leaves but not kill the plant once it is well established. It makes a good ground cover under trees in subtropical and tropical areas. It grows vigorously in the right position and because of its habit of suckering can be difficult to remove. It can be grown successfully in colder areas in a hanging basket or large pot and moved to a warm, sheltered position in winter.
Betel leaf is a different plant to Betel pepper Piper betle, which is chewed with betel nut.
Plant Information or Specifications
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Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions)
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1 (Self Pollinating)
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All Leaves (Evergreen)
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Can be pruned to 2m
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