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Plant Catalogue



Chinese Sweet Tea Vine

Gynostemma pentaphyllum

A climbing vine of the Cucurbitaceae family, related to pumpkins and squashes. Sweet Tea Vine is a perennial plant that grows and produces shoots and leaves year round in the North, provided it is kept frost free. It prefers moist, fertile soil and can grow in full sun or part shade. It is well suited to food forest cultivation, and grows best with a trellis or bush to clamber over. It does not seem to set seed in New Zealand.


The shoots and leaves can be eaten cooked as a vegetable and can also be made into a tea. So far the leaves we have tried have not been sweet exactly, but do have a pleasant flavour and texture.


It is considered one of the top 10 most important tonic herbs in Chinese medicine, used to improve circulation, stimulate liver function, and strengthen the immune system among other things. It contains some of the same saponin compounds that are found in Ginseng. In the Guizhou province of China it is known as the “immortality herb”, and elderly people in the area consume the plant regularly.


Size:10cm Pot

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