In Cameroon, the bitterleaf (Vernonia calvoana) is a vegetable which plays an important role in human nutrition, because of its high mineral content.
It is also important medicinaly.
Bitterleaf production is still extensive and its price in the urban markets ranks it amongst the luxurious foods in the dry season.
Not much information exists about the production, propagation, suitable method of harvesting, and the nutritive value of this plant.
The present study, which was carried out in the garden of the National Advanced School of Agriculture, Nkolbisson, Youndé, is aimed at improving the agronomic practices in peasant environments, with a view of introducing intensive cultivation.
On the basis of dry matter production, leaf plucking proved to be a better method of harvesting during the growing period.
Also, propagation by seeds gave better results than stem-cuttings.
The quantity of protein in the four spp of Vernonia currently eaten, varies from 22.75–26.50 mg/100 of d.m., which indicates that it is not a neglible source of protein especially in the villages where children suffer from acute shortage of proteins.
The bitterleaf is also rich in minerals, particularly in Fe 200–300 ppm/100gm d.m., Mn 580–885 ppm/100gm d.m. and in cellulose 10.50–12.35 mg/100 gm d.m.