Yacon – apple of the earth


Wonder crop from Andes, yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius), is closely related to sunchokes and sunflowers. It can grow to 2m but mine only reached about a meter. It’s supposed to be hardy but it likes regular watering and is not as prolific as sunchokes. There’s a good description of it on https://www.greenharvest.com.au/Plants/Information/Yacon.html.

I grew mine in a big wicking pot but will probably release a few plants into the ground this year. Roots were ready to harvest by the end of June and they tasted like a cross between a watery apple and a sugarcane. Very unusual for a root crop.


They have two types of roots – knobbly purple rhizomes that are used for propagation and long brown tubers that can be eaten. They don’t keep well and need to be eaten soon after digging out. I usually peel them and eat them raw.

It’s November and all the rhizomes I propagated sprouted new leafs. Let’s see how hardy they are…


About Barb Susac

Art - mainly mixed media, weaving and stained glass. Also adventures in permaculture and sustainability in the harsh reality of Western Australia. Seed saving, plant propagating, perennials, wildcraft and gardening.
This entry was posted in Plant profiles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s