Beautiful Cleome Gynandra is growing fast in our Gonarezhou area with the recent rain.
Thomas Mutombeni, head guide at Chilo Gorge, says:
“it is a food plant, the leaves of which the Shangaans cook and eat like spinach. Shangaans call it bangala while the Shona refer to it as nyevhe. Common names include Shona cabbage, African cabbage, spiderwisp, and cat’s whisker.!”
The leaves are taken off the plant individually, leaving the whole plant to continue growing…This is a “weed” of cultivation, growing in sandy areas on abandoned village sites within the Gonarezhou National Park, in disturbed places, along road sides ….
All the women of the village, and our staff from Chilo Gorge Lodge, are rushing to harvest it.
Collecting with great delight, everyone looking forward to tasty relish with their next meal…
Thomas and I had some cooked with a touch of peanut butter, for our dinner, Yum! and then tried it cooked straight, oil and salt, pungent and delicious. The chefs then got creative and produced a plateful cooked with garlic!
Now much of it will be blanched and dried, to supply tasty food to numerous families throughout the next few months…
Very rich in vitamins, it is a great health food.
Species of Cleome grow in the rocky areas of Chilo gardens…exquisite flowers…
Here is Cleome macrophylla……..
A Cleome by any other name might NOT taste as sweet…….!?