Useful Plants Series – Yacon

Latin name: Smallanthus sonchifolius or Polymnia sonchifolia

Yacon is now available in our SHOP, however only in very limited numbers this winter. We will do our best to grow more next year so that we can offer them at better value per growing tip.

Yacon is yet another of those edible perennial tubers from the Andees. It’s daisy like yellow flowers and tropical leafs make a beautiful ornamental to grow in any garden. The tubers are crisp, juicy and slightly sweet. It’s the fruit of the winter months. It is low in calories and contains inulin which is a great sweetener for diabetics which makes it the main ingredient in a lot of diabetic products.

In cold temperate climates the stems and foliage dies back completely in the winter once temperatures below frost are reached. All it’s energy is stored safely underground in the tubers until it gets warmer again in spring time. If planted in a well mulched garden it doesn’t need to be taken up for the winter and stored indoors, as the mulch will protect the tubers from the frost. They can also be stored in a well ventilated open container filled with potting compost or peat to keep the air off the tubers. The tubers also be process into a well known Yacon syrup for sweetening deserts or tea. Each of the growing tips can grow into one large that will give you a few edible tubers and some growing tips or starts.