Katuk - "Tropical Asparagus" - Star Gooseberry - Sauropus androgynus

Sauropus androgynus, also known as katuk, star gooseberry, or sweet leaf, is a shrub grown in tropical regions as a leaf vegetable. Sauropus androgynus. (SAW row-puss an-DROG-ah-nus) has a meaning - androgynus, in the plant world, means having flowers that are either male or female. Sauropus means “lizard-foot.” By the way: Change the ending of Sauropus to Saururus and you have Lizard Tail, a different plant species with medicinal qualities.

Its multiple upright stems can reach 2.5 meters high and bear dark green oval leaves 5–6 cm long.

It is one of the most popular leaf vegetables in South Asia and is notable for high yields and palatability. The shoot tips have been sold as "tropical asparagus".

Culinary use

Katuk has a peanut-like taste when eaten raw and the cooked leaves taste as spinach.

In Vietnam, the locals cook it with crab meat, minced pork or dried shrimp to make soup. In Malaysia, it is commonly stir-fried with egg or dried anchovies. The flowers and small purplish fruits of the plant have also be eaten.


A study has suggested that excessive consumption of juiced Katuk leaves (due to its popularity for body weight control in Taiwan in the mid '90s) can cause bronchiolitis obliterans lung damage, due to its high concentrations of the alkaloid papaverine. It is not clear if this if practical concern with the consumption of the plant in Florida at this time.

Edible trees and bushes in Florida: moringa, katuk and chaya. They are very easy to grow. Video: http://bit.ly/1w7vf9h

Where to buy

Katuk plants and seeds are available from Amazon and eBay: http://ebay.to/1sZpxEV


Sauropus androgynus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://bit.ly/1sZpl8y
Katuk leaf, in addition to the benefits, be aware of side effects | Pelem Sewu http://bit.ly/1sZpAR3
Katuk Kontroversy | Eat The Weeds and other things, too http://bit.ly/1sZpDw7
Garden Adventures: Katuk (Sauropus androgynus) http://buff.ly/1OqRiGj
Katuk - Hedonista http://buff.ly/1QWvDFF

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