In The Garden: VERY large clasping leaf; mystery vegetable

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by SusanDunlap, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

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  2. stone

    stone Active Member

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    Vegetable?
    Looks like smallanthus, a shade flower at my house...

    If you planted a veggie, maybe Yacón? (Smallanthus Sonchifolius)
     
  3. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

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    no guarantee it is a veggie - found it while on a stroll through a communal vegetable garden - simple silly assumption on my part that all plants contained there-in were vegetable....

    Smallanthus sonchifolius looks correct! thanks a bunch.
     
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  5. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

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    It was growing in Palo Alto. Now I want to taste it! Maybe Stone can tell us a bit about the flavor.

    Eric Wikipedia says it is a root vegetable that will only survive "gentle frosts". Guess that makes it a bit out of range for you guys up there.
     
  6. SusanDunlap

    SusanDunlap Active Member

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    hmm - the article suggests that a diligent gardener might be able to grow it in Canada: "the propagating roots can be kept in the refrigerator or buried away from frost until spring. While usable-sized tubers develop fairly early, they taste much sweeter after some frost."
     
  7. stone

    stone Active Member

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    The wiki says "light frost" so... unlikely...

    Maybe you can cross them with the bear's foot flower (Smallanthus uvedalius) to increase hardiness?
    As this guy seems to have done:
    http://radix4roots.blogspot.com/2010/09/yacon-i-am-spartacus.html

    Smallanthus seems to stop at the Canadian border... Might have to smuggle yall some seed.
    http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SMUV
    The native smallanthus has the same tubers... just not as large.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Hmm - sweet with no nutritional value, pass thru the human body unmetabolized, except that they're used by body-friendly bacteria. You'd think this would already be used in non-sugar sweeteners.
     
  9. stone

    stone Active Member

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    I wish I could... It's still on my wish list, along with oca tubers and turmeric.

    I found the article that raised my awareness about this plant.
    David Frary seems to be raising them in London without difficulty...
    http://downtheplot.com/yacon.php
     

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