Wild edible plant is abundant in the Indonesian rainforest.  On every occasion, I explore the forest and practicing food foraging activities.  Diplazium proliferum is always been my target. The only reason is because of its crunchy texture and delicious taste. Besides the young stems/leaves, I expect that I can also collect the bulbils.  because bulbils are tastier.

Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to find detailed information about this species. Almost all the available info is about D. esculentum, D. proliferum is less popular. Actually based on my personal opinion, even though the two species are similar, but the aroma and texture of D. proliferum are better than D. esculentum.

wild edible plant
Young stems and leaves are the edible part of Diplazium proliferum

Indonesia has a huge diversity of edible plants. Not only delicious to eat, but also highly nutritious. Their presence is still abundant in the forest.  But some of them, which knows as underutilized vegetables are sometimes still available in some traditional markets.

The Diplazium genera which are popular as vegetables are Diplazium esculentum, Diplazium polypodioides, and Diplazium proliferum. From these 3 species, Dilpazium esculentum is the most popular vegetable fern. In general, people will refer to Diplazium esculentum when they talk about vegetable ferns. Meanwhile, Diplazium proliferum is only popular among food foragers.

D. proliferum will grow optimal in moist conditions and near to the water. The plant grows better in shaded areas. Under natural and undisturbed, it can reach 1.5 meters in height. If you find the large size one, it is certain that the young stem/leaves size is also large. And if you are lucky, there are many big bulbils on the top of the leaves.

Which part is edible from it wild plant?

Young shoots and leaves are the most common parts as vegetables. It’s also very easy to cook. Wash first, then slice to size as you prefer. Prepare the spices that you like the most. I usually use shallots, garlic, chilies, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Then the spices are sauteed first. When the spice is ready, then add the sliced ​​vegetables. Stir until the spices are evenly distributed. Keep it for about 5-10 minutes above the flame, to ensure the spice is mix with the vegetable. Then, the food is ready.

wild edible plant bulbils
The bulbils of Diplazium proliferum. The most delicious edible part

If you are lucky, you can collect bulbils in large quantities. These bulbils can also be prepared in the same way. Or it can also mix with other vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, and others. These bulbils are also delicious when mixed to make boiled noodles or fried noodles. Good luck with your wild edible food.

Muryanto Paiman
Young leaves and stems mix with the wild Auricularia mushroom, ready to cook

Distribution

As one of wild edible plant in Indonesia, Diplazium proliferum has a very wide distribution in Indonesia. This species is a member of the Athyriaceae. You can find this species in almost all islands in Indonesia. They will grow optimally in highland rain forests. Several times I ever found them in the middle lands, but the vigor is not as good as when it grows in the highlands.


Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses

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