We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Gynura?

By Greer Hed
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The genus Gynura is a subgroup of the Asteraceae family of plants, which also includes popular flowering plants such as sunflowers and asters, and familiar edible plants such as lettuces and artichokes. There are several species included in the genus, with one of the best-known being the purple passion plant, Gynura aurantiaca. This species is a flowering perennial vine that is often grown as a decorative potted plant. Many other species of the genus Gynura are wholesome, edible vegetables that are somewhat similar to spinach. The genus is native to Asia, where many of the edible species are grown for food.

Purple passion plants, which may also be called velvet plants, royal velvets, or purple velvets, get their various names from their purple leaves that are covered in tiny hairs, giving them a fuzzy, velvety feel. They are popular as indoor potted plants or as outdoor garden plants because of this strikingly colored foliage, and also because they are relatively easy to grow. The plants also have small, orange colored flowers that bloom in summer, but these flowers emit an unpleasant odor. Many growers choose to prune the flowers off the plant before they fully bud because of their smell.

The purple passion plant may be cultivated indoors or outdoors and is usually propagated from cuttings, although it may also be propagated from seed if viable seeds are available. If the plant is grown outdoors, its vines will spread readily, so it is often planted as a ground cover or confined to pots to restrict the growth of the vines. Whether grown as a houseplant or a garden plant, a purple passion plant requires slightly moist soil and plenty of light to thrive, with good lighting intensifying the purple color of the leaves. Older vine growths can be pruned back to give the plant a fuller, healthier appearance. The plant also tends to attract pests, such as spider mites or aphids, so it should be regularly checked for parasites.

Another species of the genus Gynura, Gynura crepioides, is an edible vegetable that is similar in appearance to spinach, hence its common name, Okinawan spinach. The species Gynura bicolor, which is also edible, may also be referred to by this name. Leaves from both types of plant are edible, and have a unique, slightly tangy or bitter taste. The leaves may be served raw in salads or cooked, often in a stir fry or saute.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon226627 — On Nov 01, 2011

If plants do set seed, do the seeds require light to germinate, or do they need darkness?

By sunnySkys — On Jul 12, 2011

@Monika - I bet your Mom will really like the purple velvet plant.

I have to admit, I misread the article at first. I thought the purple passion plant was edible too and I was pretty interested. Purple is my favorite color and for some reason I think it would be fun to have it in a salad. However once I got to the velvety texture part of the article I got a little bit less excited!

Still, I may seek out some other varieties of gynura that are edible. I really like spinach so I'm sure I would like the taste.

By Monika — On Jul 11, 2011

These purple passion plants sound very pretty! My mom is really into gardening and has a lot of potted plants and herbs in containers on her deck. I think this would be the perfect addition to add some more color to the array. I'm going to look around next time I'm running my errands and see if I can find this for her.

I'm glad this article provided both the common name, purple passion plant, and the official name, Gynura aurantiaca. At least I'll know what to ask for when I go to the store!

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.