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Author Topic: Chaya  (Read 7920 times)

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Hollywood

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Chaya
« on: June 24, 2013, 03:10:10 PM »
Chaya tastes like spinach but is more more nutritious. It will grow to the size of a 12' tree if you let it, but most people keep it as a smaller shrub and hack it back periodically as they harvest the leaves.


The catch with this plant is that raw chaya leaves are toxic as they contain a glucoside that can release toxic cyanide. So you have to cook the leaves in boiling water for about 20 minutes to be absolutely certain that the toxins have evaporated as gas. This characteristic wil prevent this plant from being sold commercially, but for the home grower it is not a big deal. The leaves are delicious and do NOT have that mucilaginous texture that is so common among many tropical vegetables.
Katie

Tomato

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 07:16:46 PM »
Just like rhubarb leaves!

nullzero

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 09:40:35 PM »
Btw, don't use aluminum cookware to cook the leaves. I hear it  has a negative reaction with the aluminum, which causes it to leach into the food.

Tomato

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 05:44:25 PM »
I know. 🍳 I've got a cast iron skillet to do this stuff with.

Mikesid

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 06:32:52 AM »
It seems a lot of these tropical greens and tubers have toxic/reactive side effects..maybe thats whats kept s lot of these from going mainstream...
Always be planting!

plantlover13

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 09:15:49 AM »
Is chaya in the okra/hibiscus/cotton family? the leaf shape would indicate that, and hibiscus has edible leaves.

mangomike9

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 08:10:47 PM »
Plantlover,

Chaya is in the Euphorbiaceae, while Hibiscus is in the Malvaceae... so, no they are not close relatives.

You can't really ID plants well from leaf shapes. Flower structures are the only certain way.

plantlover13

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 12:26:27 PM »
Plantlover,

Chaya is in the Euphorbiaceae, while Hibiscus is in the Malvaceae... so, no they are not close relatives.

You can't really ID plants well from leaf shapes. Flower structures are the only certain way.

True, but there do seem to be similarities. Really, DNA is the only sure way, but yeah.

jez251

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 09:22:34 AM »
I'm a big fan of chaya and try to incorporate it into many recipes that would normally include a leafy green.

Its medicinal benefits far outweigh other green leafy vegetables and that's saying something.

My 'shrub' is about 10 feet tall even though I am constantly cutting leaves from it.

Jaime

Guanabanus

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2013, 11:13:53 PM »
There are several different varieties of Chaya.  Some are much more toxic and have irritating hairs.

RodneyS

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 01:31:51 PM »
I believe mine is the Estrella variety, w/ no spines

Hollywood

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2013, 10:43:23 PM »
I just realized last week that there are a few large Chaya shrubs growing in the butterfly conservatory at Fairchild Gardens in Miami. The butterflies loved them! One more reason to like this plant.
Katie

jez251

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2013, 12:45:42 PM »
I wonder how much difference there is between stinging hairs from one variety to another. My Chaya has stinging hairs that you notice if you brush your hand on the leaves. The result is an itchy, rashy section on your hand. I hear the word spine or spineless and wonder if these irritating hairs are much bigger and noticeable in certain varieties.

Jaime

Tropical Greens

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2013, 02:25:24 PM »
Yup, those are chaya plants inside the wings of the tropics exhibition....I got mine from ECHO and that is important because they have no hairs (as Har mentioned)
~Jeff

TropicBob

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Re: Chaya
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2013, 11:56:09 PM »
My Chaya grew about 10' and toppled over. I pruned it, threw the cuttings down on a brick walkway and forgot about them. A week or two later they were sprouting while still laying on bricks. I planted the cuttings and all survived.

 

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