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Gynura procumbens - (Lour.) Merr.

Common Name Longevity Spinach, Sambung Nyawa
Family Compositae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Forest margins and thickets in Africa [332 ]. By streams in forests, sandy slopes, climbing on shrubs or trees, at elevations around two hundred metres in China [266 ].
Range E. Asia - southern China, India, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines New Guinea. West Africa - Liberia to Nigeria (prob introduced).
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Gynura procumbens Longevity Spinach, Sambung Nyawa

Gynura procumbens Longevity Spinach, Sambung Nyawa
Forest Starr and Kim Starr flickr.com/people/97499887@N06


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Gynura procumbens is an evergreen Perennial Climber growing to 2 m (6ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Cacalia cylindriflora Wall. [Invalid]. Cacalia finlaysoniana Wall. [Invalid]. Cacalia procumbens Lour. Cacalia reclinata Roxb. Cacalia sarmentosa Blume. Cacalia sarmentosa Lesch. ex Blume. Crassocephalum baoulense (Hutch. & Dalziel) Milne-Redh. Crassocephalum latifolium S.Moore. G. buntigii S.Moore. G. affinis Turcz. G. agusanensis Elmer. G. baoulensis Hutch. & Dalziel. G. cavalerei H.L?v. G. clementis Merr. G. finlaysoniana DC. G. latifolia (S.Moore) Elmer. G. lobbiana Turcz. G. piperi Merr. G. pubigera Bold. G. sarmentosa (Blume) DC. G. scabra Turcz. Senecio baoulensis A.Chev. Senecio mindoroensis Elmer.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Shoots
Edible Uses: Condiment

Edible Uses Leaves - cooked [332 ]. The leaves are green and fleshy and said to taste like green beans. Young leaves and shoots are eaten fresh in salads or added to rice or noodle dishes. Cook like spinach, sauté in butter or oil and a little garlic or add to soups or stews. They are used as a vegetable or as a flavouring for food [301, 332 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antidiarrhoeal  Antirheumatic  Dysentery  Febrifuge  Hypoglycaemic  Hypotensive  Kidney

The plant is febrifuge [332 ]. It is used in the treatment of fevers, kidney troubles and dysentery [332 ]. The semi-succulent leaves are applied externally to relieve rheumatic pains and general body pains [332 ]. As a folk medicine in Singapore, the leaves are used to lower blood pressure and reduce blood sugar levels.

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The plant is grown in the rice area of Mindanao in the Philippine Islands as a 'remedy for rice aphids', but the manner of its action is not clear [332 ]. Other Uses: A useful forage plant for poultry. Pots; Suitable in 3 gallons (12L) or larger.

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Gynura procumbens is a small tropical perennial herb or climber grown indoors in colder climates. It is a close relative of Okinawa Spinach (Gynura crepioides). They are growing to 1 - 3 m in height with a scandent (climbing) growth habit. The specific epithet procumbens means lying flat on the ground or creeping forwards, in reference to the growth habit. The branches are trimmed to make a bushy plant or staked. Position: Sun / part shade. Soil preference: Well-drained. Soil pH Preferences:

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed. Longevity spinach is very easy to grow and propagate from cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Longevity Spinach, Longevity Greens, Akar sebiak, Akar, Bau dat, Daun dewa, Ebure, Gipoi, Kacham akar, Kelemai merah, Kim that, Phti angkam, Rau hung lui, Sambung nyawa, Mollucan Spinach, Leaves of the Gods, Bai Bing Ca.

TEMPERATE ASIA: Guangdong Sheng, Guizhou Sheng, Hainan Sheng, Yunnan Sheng,China. TROPICAL ASIA: India, Arunachal Pradesh, Papua New Guinea, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, AFRICA: Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Not Listed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Gynura segetum Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM02 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Lour.) Merr.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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