Native to El Salvador and a staple in the Salvadoran diet, the green leafy vegetable is not cultivated on an agricultural scale, and is something commonly found at farmers’ markets instead.
Chemical analyses show a richness in calcium and iron, though caution must be practiced as the seeds and roots are undeniably toxic. Importation has been banned in Australia due to its invasive qualities that disrupt and take over natural habitats.
Other common names of plants that fall under this genus are longbeak and chipilin. The name rattlebox comes from the fact that a rattling sound is produced the seeds mature, detach and loosen in the pod.
Leaves can be boiled, sautéed, or dried for seasoning.
last update by M 12/7/2012