Basella alba L., Sp. Pl. 272 1753. (Syn: Basella alba var. subcordata Hassk.; Basella alba var. subrotunda Moq.; Basella cananifolia Buch.-Ham. ex Wall. ; Basella cordifolia Lam.; Basella crassifolia Salisb.; Basella japonica Burm.f.; Basella lucida L.; Basella nigra Lour.; Basella ramosa J.Jacq. ex Spreng.; Basella rubra L.; Basella rubra var. virescens Moq.; Basella volubilis Salisb.; Gandola alba Rumph. ex L.; Gandola nigra (Lour.) Raf.; Gandola rubra Rumph. ex L.);
.
Ceylon spinach, Indian spinach, Malabar Spinach, Red vine spinach, Vine spinach • Hindi: Poi पोई • Manipuri: Urok Shumban • Konkani: Valchi Bhagi • Tamil: Vasalakkirai • Kannada: Bansali • Marathi: Velbendi • Gujarati: Valchi Bhagi • Malayalam: Vasalaccira • Sanskrit: Upodika • Bengali: Pui Shaak;
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Other than used as a vegetable, it is also a very showy creeper used to decorate house front.  The berries are relished by birds like bulbuls.
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There is a red variety that ayurved thinks breaks down kidney stones…but the musilage and some CHO of this plant stem slime-y material leads to a lot of intestinal gas and stomach ache in some people ( a lot of people actually) … so be careful in eating… curries mainly made from the stems… leaves are mostly water so almost disappear during cooking into a green blob..???
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Basella rubra —- Tanay Bose:Basella rubra L. Basellaceae. the Red spots on the leaf are caused by Alternaria alternata commonly known as — Alternaria leaf spot of Basella rubra. Used as a leafy vegetable



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Fruits & Vegetables Week: RVS-11: Basella rubra, at FRLHT’s garden. Leaves used as green vegetable. It is also
a medicinal plant.


‘Pasalai keerai’ in Tamil.


–  Puin saag in Bengali


Poi saag in Delhi. Here are some


– What’s the name of the purple-leaved variety of the same ‘pasalai keerai’ (in Tamil) called?


Pictures posted by me and … in this thread are belong to the ‘purple’ variety. The stems, fruits and sometimes leaves have the coloration. These are always cultivated and i have not seen in wild. This purple form is botanically known as Basella rubra (Synonym: Basella alba var. rubra). The green form of ‘pasalai keerai’ is wild and all parts (lvs, stems, fruits) of the plant are green. It is Basella alba (or B. alba var. alba).


According to the latest Kew list it is now relegated to synonymy of B. alba


Other than used as a vegetable, it is also a very showy creeper used to decorate house front.  The berries are relished by birds like bulbuls.



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Basella sp from near Bhaini Village Karnal:  Basella sp from near Bhaini Village Karnal
This Basella looks me like B alba
But some imp differences observed were in comparision of commonly growing garden variety of B alba
1. More spreading with thin stem
2. Leaves were less leathery.
pls clarify


Basella alba and B. rubra are same and synonyms with B. alba as accepted name.
I think this is B. alba, just that its growing in harsh conditions.

… to check this I grow this vine in good condition in my college but still clearly different from commonly growing B alba


You may be right ….. But what is good according to your may not be good according to the plant.


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Nomenclature; botanical names versus common names: Thanks to … (surname supressed), I think I have found a forum that will stimulate me. I have been waiting for some plant names in Indian scripts to appear on the www since 1995 when I first launched the MMPND. … (surname supressed) contributed a few but back then the fonts were not available. I had to create images with devices that did not produce the exact words, the result was poor. Since then there has been an abundance of words in various scripts. We are now facing a new problem. Nomenclatural identification.
There is the official nomenclature – taxonomy, and there is the vernacular (common names). Not always matching each other. Photos help but without photo, one needs to start from a strong basis. Hence my work since the 1985’s, 1995 online.

My point is: I would suggest that we use the authority names with all botanical names, that is for example Azadirachta excelsa (Jack) M. Jacobs as opposed to just the usual Azadirachta excelsa . Why? because the bot. name on its own may mean different things when used by different authorities. In order to track down the synonyms in the search for a positive ID a complete botanical name is the first strong step. I suggest the first 2 sites in order to find those generally up-to-date complete bot. names:
http://www.plantnames.unimelb.​edu.au/Sorting/List_bot.html#​sec.02  >
http://www.ars-grin.gov/ >
These will also supply bot. synonyms and common names…and more. They are valuable when doing searches online. 10 names will return nothing and one will return hundreds of pages. I have had plenty of experience since 1995. These 2 sites are built on years of experience started long before the internet was invented. Do take advantage of that experience.
There are also other sites dealing with bot. names but usually not as focused on international communication. Many of those are linked in some way to these 2 anyhow.


Yes I have been using these sites for a long time for sorting out names for some plants. Practicing taxonomy since 1970, I have gone through all: Huge volumes of Index Kewensis and its supplements, Kew database, IPNI, GRIN, Sorting Plant Names and all. In fact I was among the first persons to introduce authority names in scientific names in our group. It was great relief to see the publication of The Plant List in 2010, but unfortunately it has more errors and omissions and unresolved names than one can cope with. I hope with your association with our group we may see it progressing much faster.

Yes … has done herculean task of compiling local names in regional scripts. We do have a good compilation of local names (but in Roman script) in book “Useful Plants of India” published by CSIR, but names have to be converted into regional scripts.


You might also try the Catalogue of Life web site for names and synonyms.  It does not have a complete coverage of names, but the ones it has are usually current, give synonymy and often links to further information.  http://www.sp2000.org/


For the said approach, the expenses were much as at that time in my city Raipur not much computer professionals were there. Taking print outs and sending it to you to Austraila through registered surface mail was much expensive for me. 

Now due to Google Unicode, things are becoming simple these days. 


Catalogue of Life is fine but it contains things that bother me – unresolved taxonomic issues. For example they state that Basella alba and Basella rubra are synonyms. This is obviously not correct if you have ever seen both plants. Have you ever read anywhere that the reddish variety could be a cultivar of B. alba? I haven’t, except on the M.M.P.N.D. I would say that Basella rubra is an invalid name but not a synonym of B. alba. Moreover Indian scholars use  Basella alba L. var. rubra (L.) Stewart. Are they wrong? or are they ignored?


I have never cone across the statement that Basella rubra L. is an invalid name. It is only that differences are not strong enough to recognize it an independent species. Since both species were described on the same date in Species Plantarum of Linnaeus, the author who merged these two species chose B. alba L. as correct name and B. rubra L. as synonym.


OK “invalid” may not be the correct term, would you prefer “unresolved”? certainly the synonymy isn’t universal around the world.
I have always failed to understand how 2 different plants can have 2 different names which are considered synonyms.
B. alba var. rubra could be a synonym of B. rubra, but B. alba = B. rubra ????
The ARS GRIN database used to have many of those, years ago. Today they have a more logical approach (except in this case).
If I am wrong, so be it, I’ll plead guilty to being an “ignoramus”, I am certainly not a taxonomist.
My problem is matching common names with 2 different bot. names considered synonyms. One ends up with contradictory names which cannot be synonyms since they mean different things… like “Red-stemmed vine spinach” vs “White-stemmed vine spinach“. Names with similar meaning exist in French, German, Spanish etc. for both. My approach is to find a bot. name that suits the horticultural rules.
Basella
alba L. ‘Rubra‘  for all the names referring to the colour red appears logical to me.
Looking quickly at my favourite references:
GRIN has B. alba = B. rubra
Flora Europaea ignored B. rubra
Flora of China considered both as different species, and so do many of the Indian scholars.


The latest online version of Flora China (2003), treats B. rubra L. as synonym of B. alba L.
A agree with you that Basella alba L. ‘Rubra’ appears to be most logical, but then it accepts merger of B. rubra with B. alba, and merely regards it as cultivar of B. alba L. (not even a variety, which would need formal author citation for the combination). I think there should be no harm in linking all common names associated with B. rubra with B. alba ‘Rubra’ and those associated with B. alba traditionally with simple B. alba L. That would also go well with predominant taxonomic position.

http://www.efloras.org/​florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&​taxon_id=103570)


This kind of confusion occurs when revisioners rely only herbarium specimens. Since the color differences can’t be seen in the herbarium, they tend to merge these otherwise distinct (by color) varieties. I don’t know if Basella alba var. rubra occurs in wild, if not, it is a mere cultivar which doesn’t require a formal combination and author citation. In that case the earlier treatments (B. rubra, B. alba var. rubra) become synonymous to B. alba as treated in Fl.China, GRIN etc.
Another similar situation can be seen in Vitex negundo var. purpurascens Sivar. & Moldenke. This variety can’t be distinguished in the herbarium as it differs only by color (rather prominently) from its typica. Any revisioner may tend to merge these two by not finding strong taxonomic characters to distinguish.
There may be several cases where plants distinct in the field but difficult to distinguish in the herbarium (such as Flacourtia indica (Burm.f.) Merr. and F. ramontchi L’Her.). The destiny of the status then becomes a matter of preference / opinion, to merge or to treat as different variety. And always a subject of debate.

I feel if a ‘variety’ doesn’t exist in wild, and originated by cultivation, it should be considered only a cultivar and not a taxonomical variety.


Excellent point … This will have to be kept in mind when we tackle the Citrus. So we all basically agree that “Basella alba L. ‘Rubra‘ ” would be a good name. We just need to convince a taxonomist to establish the fact in nomenclature. Meanwhile as … said let’s compile the relevant names under both B. alba and ‘Rubra’. I can post on this forum what I have already in the MMPND file under Basella. So far I have only Assamese, Nepali and Telugu names as far as Indian names are concerned… and they need confirmation by native


The Plant List in 2010, but unfortunately it has more errors and omissions and unresolved names than one can cope with.
I personally also find The Plant List to be unusable.
“I have always failed to understand how 2 different plants can have 2 different names which are considered synonyms. Because at some point in time the synonyms which are shared were thought to accurately represent both plants…they didn’t have the instannt computerized tools available that we enjoy today…and still there are many fuzzy areas to be clarified…
“My problem is matching common names with 2 different bot. names considered synonyms”
A single plant can have a hundred common names because a common name can be applied by anybody…there is no authority to check what a ‘true common name’ is…
Basella alba L. ‘Rubra’  for all the names referring to the colour red appears logical to me.”
I like the approach that the name should accurately describe some aspect of the plant as opposed to commemorative names which serve no practical botanical purpose at all but simply boost someones ego by having a plant named after them…commemorative names have no place in botany from my point of view.
“This kind of confusion occurs when revisioners rely only herbarium specimens. Since the color differences can’t be seen in the herbarium.”
Digital photography of Living Plants is far more valuable than dried out herbarium speciens which distort many features and characteristics leading to big confusion and chaos.
Just some thoughts,

I fully agree with you, the confusion in the Plant List. Kindly go through my communications to them. I have forwarded them to both of you (… and …). I had to use slightly harsher language (not usual with me) mainly out of frustration with the list, which we are all sure would be followed by most of the world but is much short of the standard expected. The irony is the numerous binomials with double author citation but listed without any synonym (not even basionym).



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Wild Vine for Id- 200112 NS1- frm Pune: A wild vine , photographed at Queen’s garden , Pune.
Dated- 19/01/12.
Leaves were ovate.
Slender stem was reddish.
Fruits were- Black (n unripe -green),
aggregate type.


I found der r 2 more similar sp – Basella alba var. rubra n Basella Alba – all showing same fruits.
Can u tell me plz Y it’s Basella rubra ?



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efloraofindia:”For Id 17122012MR1’’ plant with black berry like fruits at Pune:  Nov 2012

requesting identification of this potted plant at a private society at Pune. long branches with pink buds and black berry like fruits. could hardly see any open flowers


Looks like Basella alba


I’m very new to botany and am not completely sure of this. But I think you have Basella alba, also known as baselle soppu in Kannada. Makes for a delicious dish and known to have cooling properties.


Thank you … for the Id. Found its name in Marathi on the net as Marathi: Mayalu (मायाळू)

ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basella_alba


yes the diagnosis
and its bengali name is PUI saag
there is a red variety that ayurved thinks breaks down kidney stones…
but the musilage and some CHO of this plant stem slime-y material leads to a lot of intestinal gas and stomach ache in some people ( a lot of people actually) … so be careful in eating… curries mainly made from the stems… leaves are mostly water so almost disappear during cooking into a green blob..???


 


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Basella alba L. (Hooghly): This is from our kitchen garden, Basella alba L. or PUIN (পুঁই) in Bengali, a much liked vegetable (SHAK/SHAG) in our lunch dish. The pictures were recorded on 01/01/2013.


Yes a nice leafy vegetable. It is a cultivated variety, but I am posting pic of wild form.


Thank you very much Sir, once again, the wild variety seems to be slimmer than the cultivated ones,


 


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Id request : Attachments (3). 4 posts by 4 authors.
Please id. location: gurgaon, haryana at 29june 2013.


no flowers/fruits are there, still this looks close to Basella


looks like Basella alba


To me this looks like the climber Basella alba used for vegetable.

There is another variety of the same plant with violet tinge to the leaves.


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Basella alba L. from Aligarh (UP) : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (8). 

Attached images may be Basella alba L. Please validate.  
Date :13.04.2014
Location: Aligarh (UP)
Family : Basellaceae
Genus & species : Basella alba L. (?)

Habitat: Grows wild on fences along road side.


Yes Sir, I think so. Can be found in wild too. Several cultivars and wild form were reported in Flora Indica.



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Need help with Identification : 8 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (4)
While cleaning my roof, I found this little twiner growing out of a jammed drain pipe. If it could grow there, it must be a tough plant.
Would love to know what it is that I have now repotted. I really love the white slightly purple tinged flower like things. Attaching a few photos for ID help.
Much thanks to everyone.

Guessing it to be some Piper sp,


It is Basella alba (Basellaceae).


Yes, Basella alba. The leaves are edible.


looks like basella


Thanks everyone for the help. I remember eating pui saag earlier, never knew this is how the plant looks.


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Basella alba L. : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (3) – around 800 kb each.

Location: Gyaneswor, Kathmandu
Date: 19 June 2019
Elevation: 1300 m.

Habit : Cultivated

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Purple coloured climber for ID : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)

Please see attached the climber photos
Place from where the photo is clicked – Mohali, Punjab
Habit – climber though no climbing structures seen
Colour – purple all over
Leaves – purple and with entire margins, highly succulent
Flowers – Pinkish, i don’t think they open
I am sorry for the bad quality but the photo is clicked with mobile
Can anyone please help me identify the plant

Is it Basella sp. ?


Thanks, … It will be better if … posts the original images to see better details.  


Thank You … for the help. it seems like Basella sp. I will definitely post some good photographs to confirm the sp.

Does not match with Basella alba, the only species sp far in this genus in efi.
PL. also check with the following though I am not positive:

Seems Basella sp.


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Swamy/New series/ID/15 – ID of the Plant Basella alba: 4 images.
Please confirm / suggest the ID of the plant grown in my garden in Mysore. Photographed during April 2021. My ID : Basella alba


Yes



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References:

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