mirabilis expansa

Discussion in 'Botany Photo of the Day Submissions' started by orflo, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. orflo

    orflo Member

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    Scheldewindeke, Belgium
    Mirabilis expansa is one of the 'lost crops of the incas' and the most rare one. It has only been rediscovered in the 1960's and is even now extremely difficult to find. They are known as mauka, chago and many other local names, and can be found in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. The edible parts are the roots, leaves and stems, so, just about everything. The roots develop nicely in a temperate European climate (up to 1 kgs.) , the plants grow very big and even have a tendency to overgrow other plants.
    Mauka is mainly propagated by cuttings, which are as easy to take as sweet potato cuttings. Seeds are produced as well, but these are only occasionally used for propagating. The taste of the roots is very good, the variety I tried out last year had a bit of astringency in it, but 5-7 days of sun-curing reduced the astringent taste.
    Personally, I think this is a very promising crop, nutritional value seems to be very good, although some further investigation has to be done on this. Adaptability of the roots to the European climate seems to be extremely easy, and up to now no diseases or specific pests have appeared on the plants.


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