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Smallanthus sonchifolius

  • 15 plantings
  • 1 for swap
  • 10 wanted
  • 2 stashed

'Yakon' is a plant in the Polymnia genus with a scientific name of Smallanthus sonchifolius.

Yacon is a large perennial plant cultivated for its roots. The root can be eaten raw, like a potato or jicama.1

Mature bloom diameter is on average approximately 2.0 cm (0.78 inches).

Yakon grows as an annual/perennial and is a flowering edible vegetable. Being an annual / perennial plant, it tends to grow either as a single season plant, or a plant that can stay in your garden for many years.

Try planting Yakon if you'd like to attract bees to your garden.

Yakon is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Yakon have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Yakon

Will benefit from staking in windy areas.

Keep in mind when planting that Yakon is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Yakon to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Yakon from seed

Yacon is generally grown from propagative tubers rather than seed. Seed can be started using the same method that you would for sunflower.

Transplanting Yakon

In mild climates, propagules can be left in the ground over the winter. Otherwise, they can be stored indoors in a cool, dry spot and planted out in spring once risk of frost has passed.

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Yakon is a tender plant.

Harvesting Yakon

Plants will generally continue to grow until killed by frost, so harvest is best delayed as long as possible. Two types of tubers are produced: smaller, irregular shaped propagules that can be used to start new plants and large cylindrical storage tubers that are eaten.

This plant is ready for harvest after the rhizomes at the top of the plant die and fall back. At this point the tuber is ready to be eaten.1

Seed Saving Yakon

Two varieties are required to produce seed. Seed matures slowly and a long season may be required to save seed successfully.

How long does Yakon take to grow?

These estimates for how long Yakon takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

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Yakon Folklore & Trivia

The leaves of yakon should only be used in teas as they have been found to be slightly toxic to the kidneys when eaten directly.1

Other names for Yakon

Yacon, sweet-root, Peruvian ground apple, strawberry jicama, Bolivian sunroot, llacon, ground pear, pear of the earth

Polymnia sonchifolia Poeppig & Endl.

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