List of Vegetables: III. Examples of Leafy Vegetables

Leafy vegetables or vegetable crops are plants that supply edible leaves in various stages of development for culinary use.

The leaves may be separate and fully expanded or form ahead. In some species, the leaves are cooked and attached to segments of succulent stems.

Examples of these vegetables, without specifying geographical adaptation, are provided in the next table.

For clarity, some examples are included even though their primary products are not the leaves.

In such cases, the inclusion is merely to inform that their leaves are likewise commonly utilized in the preparation of vegetable dishes.

Pechay is a leafy vegetable
Pechay is a leafy vegetable

List of Leafy Vegetables

Table LV-3. List of leafy vegetables, their common names, scientific names, botanical family, and other relevant information.

Crop NameScientific NameFamilyCollective Name for Members of the Family, Other Info
Leafy Vegetables
Amaranth, kulitisAmaranthus spinosusAmaranthaceaeAmaranth family, includes Chenopodiaceae
Brussels sproutsBrassica oleracea, Gemmifera groupBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers; referred to as miniature cabbage
CabbageBrassica oleracea, Capitata groupBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers
CeleryApium graveolensApiaceae/UmbelliferaeCarrot family
Charantia, bitter melon, bitter gourd, ampalayaMomordica charantiaCucurbitaceaeCucumber/Gourd family, cucurbits; primarily grown as fruit vegetable but the leaves and young stems (tops) are also eaten blanched or as ingredient in many vegetable dishes.
Chard, Swiss chard, leaf beetBeta vulgaris var. ciclaAmaranthaceaeAmaranth family, includes Chenopodiaceae
ChicoryCichorium intybusAsteraceae/CompositaeSunflower family
Chili pepper, hot pepper, siling-labuyoCapsicum frutescensSolanaceaeNightshade family, also called Solanaceous crops; the fruits are widely used as a spice but the leaves are also cooked as a vegetable
Chinese cabbageBrassica rapa var. pekinensisBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers
EndiveCichorium endiviaBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers
Garden cress, peppercressLepidium sativumBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers
Jew’s mallow, red jute, saluyotCorchorus olitoriusMalvaceaeMallow family
KaleBrassica oleracea, Acephala groupBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers
LettuceLactuca sativaAsteraceae/CompositaeSunflower family
Moringa, malunggayMoringa oleiferaMoringaceaeGreen pods and the flowers are also cooked as ingredient of some vegetable dishes.
Malabar nightshade, alugbateBasella rubraBasellaceaea coiling vine; young leaves are eaten as cooked vegetable including succulent stems
Mustard green, Oriental mustard, mustasaBrassica junceaBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers
Pak choi, pechayBrassica rapa var. chinensisBrassicaceae/CruciferaeMustard family, also called Cole Crops and Crucifers
RhubarbRheum rhaponticumPolygonaceaeBuckwheat family
SpinachSpinacea oleraceaApiaceae/UmbelliferaeCarrot family
Sweet potato (camote tops)Ipomoaea batatasConvolvulaceaeMorning Glory/Bindweed family; Sweet potato is generally classified as a starchy root crop (under root and tuber crops) but some varieties are grown for the production of camote tops which consist of young leaves and a portion of the stem including the tips.
Taro, dasheen, gabiColocasia esculentaAraceaeArum family; taro is generally classified as a starchy corm crop (under root and tuber crops) but some varieties are grown for their leaves and petioles (as well as stolons). One has pinkish leaves and petioles and is called “abalong” in some localities in the Philippines. Corms are small.
Vegetable fern, pakoDiplazium esculentum syn. Athyrium esculentumDryopteridaceaeDryopteroid family

REFERENCES

  1. HILL A. 1972. Economic Botany. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. Ltd. 560 p.
  2. MERRILL E. 1912. Flora of Manila. Manila: Bureau of Printing. 491 p.
  3. PEEL L. 2004. HarperCollins Practical Gardener: Kitchen Garden. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 176 p.
  4. SIMPSON MG. 2010. Plant Systematics. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Inc. 740 p.
  5. The Essential Gardening Encyclopedia. 2003. San Francisco, CA: Fog City Press. 608 p.

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