Botanical Name: Rungia Klossii
Some other names: Rungia, Kenkaba, Moku, Tani
How to grow it:
Mushroom plant is a perennial clumping shrub to about 60cm.
It’s fairly hardy overall, but will do much better in moist well drained soils. Prefers a partly shaded position, but will handle full sun too if kept moist. Mulching and fertilising improves leaf production a lot.
In warmer areas it will grow all year round and in colder areas it needs protection from frost
Once established, it’s a very attractive plant and wouldn’t look out of place in an ornamental garden or under trees as a living mulch.
Propogation is by separating the plant from the base or you can just take tip cuttings (shown below) and put them in the ground or in pots. Make sure they are kept well watered.
Will also do well in pots – keep them mulched, watered and fertilised for a regular supply of leaves.
A highly nutritious plant – Vitamins A, B, & C, protein, calcium, iron in particular
Using it in the kitchen:
As it’s name suggests, the plant supposedly has a mild mushroom flavour – I’m not sure I can make that distinction but the leaves are delicious nonetheless.
Freely add the leaves to salads and sanwiches for their flavour & crunchy texture.
Leaves can also be added to stir fries, soups, curries, omelettes & casseroles but only at the last minute if you’re keen to preserve their flavour which is generally lost through cooking.
When harvesting, I usually take the 5-10cm stems and pick the leaves off in the kitchen – this encourages leaf production.
A great survival plant as it tolerates shade and gives it’s harvest of leaves for most of the year.