Dragon Fruit Cactus

by | Jul 26, 2014 | Gardeners & Farmers, In the Garden

In my Vietnamese neighbours garden you can feast. It looks sparse on first observations but a tour of the garden soon reveals a genuine bounty of foods. My neighbour and I can only speak to each other via our body language and gesticulation. I do not speak a word of Vietnamese and she not a word of English. And hence with have in ten years never exchanged names but have only ever pointed at each others edible plants, tasted and gloated at our shared passions.

On my recent visit there I discovered some new plants I have not seen before, some I have been able to identify easily using the internet and others are going to take a little more time.

Dragon Fruit Cactus: which produces those amazing red succulent globular berries with minute black seeds inside white flesh, was easy to identify but the others a little trickier.

Dragon Fruit-1

Saved coriander seeds.

Dragon Fruit-2

The distinctive first leaves of coriander.

Dragon Fruit-3

A brilliant gardener, with a highly productive vegetable garden, heaps of knowledge and experience with food plants from Vietnam.

Dragon Fruit-4

Food plants I can’t recognise, the tubers of which are edible.

Dragon Fruit-6

Edible tubers. Do you know what they are?


Dragon Fruit-5

Plantain or a type of sorrel?

Dragon Fruit-7

Vegetable scraps are dug directly into the garden to improve soil structure and fertility.

Dragon Fruit-8

Another edible plant I can’t identify. The leaves are blanched and rolled with a meat stuffing inside.

Dragon Fruit-9

Dragon Fruit-10

My neighbour showing me the rolling technique.

Leaf detail.

Leaf detail.

Dragon Fruit-11

Every bit of the garden is put to use with the use of styrofoam boxes.

Dragon Fruit-13

I am told that the fleshy leaves of this succulent are also edible.

Dragon Fruit-14

Dragon fruit.

Dragon Fruit-15

Gourd leaves.

Dragon Fruit-16

Another edible serrated edge lettuce.



  1. kate

    I’m fascinated by the leaf for rolling and stuffing, at first look it looks like a kiwi fruit vine but I doubt it. Not sure about the next one but love those seriously serrated margins, maybe they are the key.
    Sorrel maybe, it usually has the connection to the stem where the leaf dips down on either side. A picture would explain a lot better!
    I think the next is Chrysanthemum leaves.
    The next one looks like arrowroot or some other kind of Canna lily.
    Love to chat in person.

    • Mara

      Thank you Kate, much appreciated, you are a gem, love mara


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *