Platostoma palustre is often canned and sold in Asian markets

Platostoma palustre (Grass Jelly, Black Jelly, Chinese Mesona, Chin Chow, Black Cincau, Leung Fan in Chinese) Chinese Mesona or Black Cincau is a very popular and sweet drink in China and neighbouring Asian countries which yields the Black Jelly. The plants are boiled in water containing potassium carbonate. The juice is cooked and then cooled […]

Tropaeolum majus produces flowers in kaleidoscopic colours

Tropaeolum majus (Nasturtium, Garden Nasturtium, Indian Cress, Monks Cress) Garden Nasturtium or Indian Cress produces long-lasting ¬†and kaleidoscopic flowers as well as attractive foliage that are water lily-like. However, the downside is it self-seeds readily and may pop up in places where they are not wanted. No wonder, this beautiful plant is considered invasive in […]

Fragaria x ananassa with sweet, aromatic and brilliant red fruits is simply irresistible

Fragaria x ananassa (Strawberry, Garden Strawberry, Cultivated Strawberry) Garden Strawberry with its characteristic fragrant aroma, delightful sweet flavour, juicy texture and brilliant red colour make it simply irresistible to many people. Strawberry is popularly cultivated worldwide for its delicious fruits that can be eaten fresh or used in pies, ice-creams, milkshakes and cakes, to name […]

Ipomoea batatas is an important food crop or staple food in many countries

Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Vine, Keledek in Malay) Sweet Potato is widely cultivated for its storage roots as it is an important food crop in many regions around the world. In Malaysia and Singapore, an assortment of colourful sweet potatoes are popularly cooked in coconut milk as ‘bubur cha cha’ with yams, pearled […]

Selaginella plana with gorgeous green, scaly and tripinnate fronds

Selaginella plana (Asian Spikemoss, Cyperus Clubmoss, Paka Merak in Malay) Asian Spikemoss or Cyperus Clubmoss is an exotic and ornamental shrubby fern. It is not a true fern although it produces spores but considered one of the fern allies in the genus Selaginella. A beautiful tropical plant that is listed as invasive by CABI.