Chinese Edible Plants

David Ehrlich
Tue, 07 Oct 2008 09:35:56 PDT
Dear James,

The leaves on celtuce are edible; there are forms with large leaves making the stem/plant look like a head of romaine.  I've seen these on the internet, but never at any market.  When I buy celtuce at the Asian markets, all the stem leaves, such as they may have been, have been removed, but the few leaves at the top of the stalk are left in place -- they are rather coarse, but they do taste like a kind of lettuce.

I live on the S.F. Peninsula, but there are Asian markets all up and down coastal California.  Celtuce is available late spring - summer

On the internet I found two California and one Canadian distributors of seed -- some even with several varieties

While the varietal name is asparagina (Lactuca sativa asparagina), and it is called both asparagus lettuce and celery lettuce, it does not taste like either, nor does it make your urine smell.

Water Spinach:  I understand the water part; what I don't understand is the spinach part.  It tastes as much like spinach as the above like asparagus.  It doesn't look like spinach either.

David Ehrlich

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