Talinum fruticosum is an herbaceous perennial plant widely grown in
tropical regions as a leaf vegetable. Common names include
waterleaf, cariru, Surinam purslane, Philippine spinach, Ceylon
spinach, Florida spinach, potherb fameflower, Lagos bologi, and
The plant grows erect, 30 to 100 cm high. It bears small, white
flowers and broad, fleshy leaves.
Typical of leaf vegetables, it is rich in vitamins (including
vitamin A and vitamin C) and minerals (including iron and calcium).
Also typical of leaf vegetables, it is high in oxalic acid, and
consumption should be avoided or limited by those suffering from
kidney disorders, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The crop is grown in West Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and
warmer parts of North America and South America. Along with Celosia
species, it is one of the most import leaf vegetables of Nigeria. In
Brazil it is grown along the banks of the Amazon River, and is
consumed mainly in the states of Pará and Amazonas.The plant are
mainly used for European table as a substitute for purslane. The
root is a tonic for general weakness, possible substitute for
ginseng, to treat inflammation and swelling.