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Smallanthus sonchifolius

To swap with Helen A

This grower is sure of this plant identification.

Plants grown from last year's tubers. Various sized pots, each has at least one shoot appearing.

Smallanthus sonchifolius | Brockweir, Chepstow, Gloucestershire, NP16
Pot Size
2 litres
3 litres

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Plant Finder: about Smallanthus sonchifolius

Common names

Yacon

Description

Smallanthus sonchifolius (Yacon). Relative of the Sunflower and Jerusalem artichoke. Broadly ovate leaves with widely toothed margins extend from the stems. Daisy or sunflower-like, yellow to orange flowers, which strongly attract pollinating insects. Edible tubers that are fleshy, yellowish white and sweet, with a crisp consistency.

Cultivation

A perennial that will re-sprout in the spring in regions with mild winters.

In harsher climates the root crowns need to be harvested and kept cool but frost-free during winter, then replanted after the last frost in the spring.

Interest and use

Grown for its edible roots, or tubers, which are sweet, crisp and juicily reminiscent of apple or melon, yet low in calories. This is because the sugar contains high levels of oligofructose (inulin), a form of sugar not metabolized readily by the human body. Yacon shows much promise as a food for diabetics, as a base for low calorie sweeteners and as a probiotic. A tea made from Yacon leaves is thought to help level out blood sugars.

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Smallanthus sonchifolius | Brockweir, Chepstow, Gloucestershire, NP16 | Copyright Greenplantswap 2019
  • LightFull sun or Part shade
  • HardinessHalf hardy (min 0°C) or Frost hardy (min -5°C)
  • SoilHeavy, Fertile, Light, Medium, Sandy, Humus-rich
  • Soil pH6.0 to 8.0
  • WaterMoist

Meet the grower

Grower
Brockweir, Chepstow, Gloucestershire, NP16
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  • Swap interests

    Perennial edibles, bee friendly and woodland plants.

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