Different type of veggie----chinese toona

Here is the picture of tender chinese toona, the fragrant spring veggie I just harvested. Only the young leaves are edible, the old leaves contain some toxic chemicals. So this is spring special treats only


Do you cook it or eat the leaves like salad?

This can be chopped finely and cooked like veggies, with scrambled eggs, pancake etc. or blanched in hot boiling water then chop finely mixed with other ingredient such as tofu. The leaves have scent. Most people eat it because of the scent.

Is this toona (sinensis) growing outdoors for you in zone 5?

There is a variety, Flamingo, that is supposed to have spectacular pink foliage in early spring. Does yours have such foliage as well? How old is it and from where did you get it?


What is the scent like?

yes,it grow outdoor in zone5.I had it for at least 5 years。never seen flamingo one sounds very interesting. it’s leaves kind of dark red when they’re young.

Hard to compare /describe . Very unique scent I must say

Finally took the plunge and got this. I got the flamingo variety. Came in dormant, taproot wrapped in moist soil. Not many fine roots, but a good looking taproot with no sign of having been cut…

I’ve potted it up and am awaiting the spring.


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Me too! I just buy the flamingo variety… lets see if it’s a good veggie…

Just curious… where did you buy your plant? I’d really like to have a ‘Flamingo’. I started 20 Toona seedlings this winter and am pretty excited about them. These came from Sheffield’s and seem to be the green type so far. Agrohaitai.com sells seeds that are supposed to be the red type that I’m going to try too. Apparently, from the little information available, the greens and reds are supposed to have different forms and flavors.

I got mine off of Etsy…

I can’t decide if this is going int he ground or not, though…


Not all chinese toona created equal, some are hardier than the others. Do you know what is the zone rating of the flamingo?

Toona Sinensis, also called Chinese Mahogany, is described as the “beef and onion plant”. It’s very popular in Asia and provides a nice source leafy greens in spring, while awaiting the rest of your garden to catch up.

I’d love to hear how everyone’s trees are doing.

Two years ago, I bought seeds in fall from true leaf market and managed to germinate five plants. This spring, I planted the surviving two, which overwintered unprotected in pots (shame on me). From my observation, they are fast growing and robust to pest and disease. If mine were in ground sooner and better cared for, they would probably be over an inch in caliper. Interestingly, I noted both the seeds and roots (especially) have the signature savory smell like beef and onions.

For those that may be interested a tree, you can still buy seeds below for $3 at true leaf market.