Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Pito (Erythrina berteroana) and chipilin (Crotalaria longirostrata), (Fabaceae), two soporific vegetables of Central America.

Abstract

Information is provided on the botany and uses of pito (Erythrina berteroana) and chipilin (Crotalaria longirostrata), 2 ethnic vegetables from Central America. These vegetables, which are especially popular in Guatemala and El Salvador, owe part of their popularity to their sedative effect. The flowers and tender young shoots of the pito tree are sold in large quantities, fresh or frozen. The tree is exceedingly common because it is planted widely, both as a living fence and windbreak. Chipilin (a slender shrub or small tree) is valued for its young leaves and shoots, cooked and eaten as green vegetables and also combined with beans, chopped meat or scrambled eggs. The foliage is rich in Ca, Fe, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid. The seeds and roots of the plant are toxic. From author's summary. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | Crotalaria longirostrata Erythrina berteroana | Vegetable Crops | trees | Crotalaria | Erythrina | green vegetables | ethnobotany | vegetable crops | Central America | El Salvador | Guatemala.