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November 2011
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Alepidea peduncularis also known as ‘ikhokwana’ is a perennial herb that is edible.

Image of Alepidea Peduncularis plant at Google

Alepidea peduncularis is a perennial herb that is edible. This herb is native to the montane grasslands of East and South Africa and can grow up to a height of 120 cm. This herb has leaves that are mostly basal with a ciliate margin. The flowering stalks are long about 70 cm and the leaves are in form of rosettes. Its roots are used in medicine to treat cough and for fever.

The leaves are cooked as vegetable in South Africa. It is also known as ‘ikhokwana’ by the Zulu people. This is a tall and glabrous plant with fleshy fibrous roots. The stems are slender, stout and striate. The stems are strongly branched. The leaves are 1-10cm in length. This herb has Inflorescence of a head-like umbel. The flowers are bisexual and sessile and are about 1mm in length.
The herb’s rhizomes are also used as medicine.

Growing/Caring conditions for Alepidea peduncularis:
– This plant can be propagated from seed.
– Scarify the seed coat by rubbing the seeds on sandpaper.
– Soak the seeds in hot water so that they swell.
– If stratification is done by placing the seed in moist towel, stratify for about 6 weeks.
– The herb is germinated at about 25°C.
– The germination period is about 12-15 days.
– Sow the seeds and cover them will soil at a sowing depth of 0.5 cm.
– Expose them to the indirect light.
– This plant needs low grade soil.
– Once the plants are large enough to handle, transplant them.
– Plant in spring.
– This plant need full sun and a sheltered position.
– Keep the seeds moist until germination.
– Mulch the plant in early season.
– The plants should be watered around the soil to ensure soil to root contact.
– This plant needs moderately fertile and well drained soil.
– The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
– The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
– Mulch with a 2-inch layer of bark or gravel mulch around the base for the plant to retain moisture and to keep the roots damp.
– Maintain evenly moist soil.

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