Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius)


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Plant Description: Yacón, or Peruvian Ground Apple, is one of the so-called ‘lost crops of the Incas’ along with Oca, Mashua, and Ulluco. Native to the foothills of the Andes, Yacón is a perennial in the daisy family closely related to the North American Sunchoke and is grown for its sweet, crisp tubers. Yacón has been recently popularized as a low-calorie, low carbohydrate food for diabetics and dieters alike as it produces natural sweet tasting but indigestible sugars. The tubers can be used much like Jicama and are ready for harvest after the first several frosts when the stems die back to the ground. Our selection produces purple colored tubers in late fall.

A perennial, upright and leafy plant, use Yacón in the landscape as you would a sunflower plant to add vertical appeal to tight spaces and seasonal interest. While the plant creates insignificant flowers, the foliage is bold and adds plenty of textural appeal. If you’re growing Yacón for food, you can either replant the crown of the plant after harvesting the tubers, or bring them inside for winter for storage much like many annual bulbs.

Cold hardy to USDA zone 8a, or to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Height: 5-8ft
  • Watering needs: regular, can tolerate dry summers once established
  • Sun needs: Full sun
  • Soil needs: well-draining
  • Fruiting Time: harvest tubers in late Fall after frost

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