How to Grow Rungia Klossii
Have you ever eaten a leaf that tastes like mushroom? Perhaps you aren’t keen on the texture of mushrooms but you like the flavour and if so, the Rungia Klossii is the answer to your culinary mushroom dreams! It’s a bushy herb with lovely glossy leaves that have a slight curl to them growing on strong stems. It isn’t at all related to mushrooms so if you have an allergy to them, this means you can still get all of the flavour without any side effects. The leaves are full of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and beta carbonate. Originally from Papua New Guinea where it is very popular, this tender perennial, rich in chlorophyll, provides blood cleansing and is a superfood not to be missed in the herb garden.
For a plant that is rarely grown in the UK, it’s pretty easy to grow. It growss to about 60cm in height and during the summer you’ll spot pretty little blue flowers contrasting perfectly with the green leaves that sometimes also have small yellow markings on. Rungia Klossii will grow in sunshine but prefers some shade and thrives in all well drained soils. It will withstand dry weather but prefers regular watering. If it is grown in full sun, the plant will remain a little smaller. As a tender perennial, you’ll need to pop it in a greenhouse or conservatory over the winter months, bringing it outside again when all frost has passed. I have one thriving after three years and it continues to produce deliciously tasty leaves.
Regular harvesting helps to promote bushy growth so the plant doesn’t get leggy. Chop and cook away! You can nip off a handful of leaves to add into a fresh salad or take a few stems to use in a larger recipe. Either way, it is very tolerant of harvesting. The more mature leaves have a superb crispiness and the younger ones are softer so keep that in mind depending on if you are eating them raw or not.
For my top Rung Klossii growing tip and a delicious recipe to try, read the July edition of Grow Your Own Magazine (in shops and by subscription).