When a random plant just appears in your maize field, you’d normally consider it a weed and pull it up. But some random plants turn out to actually be rather useful. One of those is the spider plant (“Nyevhe” or “Ulude”, as it is called in Zimbabwe), Cleome gynandra. People rarely plant it deliberately but, when it appears, they almost never get rid of it. Why? Because it tastes great, is highly nutritious, has lots of medicinal properties and its seeds make an excellent oil. And probably nature put it there for a reason. In this episode in his series on African Crops for the Future, filmed (unusually) in the middle of a maize field, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) delves deeper into this exceptionally useful African leafy indigenous vegetable.
To see some of Gus’ other work on underutilised plants, check out: https://www.bio-innovation.org/