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Edible uses


Tuber - cooked[1][2][3][4][5]. Very palatable and easily digested[6][7], it is used as a staple food in some parts of S. America[8]. The root contains 10 - 25% starch, it is high in calcium and vitamin A[7]. It is used as a potato substitute, its flavour is between that of parsnips and sweet chestnuts with a hint of sweetness[8][9]. The sweetness increases in storage[7]. The root is also used as the source of starch used in other foods[9]. The roots are harvested in the autumn and have a relatively short storage life[7].

Leaves. Used as a flavouring[10].

Young stems - raw or cooked as a vegetable[9][7]. The stems are sometimes blanched and used like celery in salads[7].

Unknown part


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Arracacia xanthorrhiza.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Arracacia xanthorrhiza.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination is often poor, less than 50%[7]. Since this species is believed to be a hybrid it will probably not breed true from seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for the first year in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division. Harvest the roots in the autumn, store overwinter and plant out in the spring. The plant forms a clump of tubers around a central root, each tuber can be used to grow a new plant. Traditionally the base of the tuber is repeatedly slashed to stimulate shoots to form and encourage a uniform arrangement of lateral roots. They are then left for a few days to heal before planting them out[7].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Arracacia xanthorrhiza. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a good loam. Grows best in a sandy loam with a pH in the range of 5 to 6, in areas with about 1000mm of rain a year, requiring a minimum rainfall of about 600mm[7]. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.3 to 6.8.

This species is not very hardy in Britain but it can be grown here as a half-hardy perennial, the roots being harvested in the autumn, stored overwinter in a cool frost-free place and planted out in the spring[6]. This species is often cultivated for its edible root in S. America, where there are many named varieties[8][2][3][10]. Attempts in the 19th century to cultivate it as a commercial crop in Europe, however, were unsuccessful[8]. Plants take about 120 - 240 days from planting to produce a crop and 300 - 400 days to produce a crop of mature tubers[7]. At harvest time there can be as many as 10 tubers each the size of a carrot formed around the central root196]. One plant can yield 2 - 3 kg of edible roots, total yields of 40 tonnes per hectare are possible[7]. Preventing the plant from flowering can increase yields[7]. Plants might be sensitive to daylength, possibly requiring short days to initiate tuber production, and so may not be suitable for temperate climates. They also have a longer growing season than potatoes and are frost-tender so need a relatively long growing season[7].

Plants do not always produce viable seed in S. America[7].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Arracacia xanthorrhiza. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Arracacia xanthorrhiza.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Arracacia xanthorrhiza
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    1 x meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? 1.01.1 Sholto-Douglas. J. Alternative Foods. ()
    2. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    3. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Towle. M. A. The Ethno-Botany of Pre-Columbian Peru. ()
    5. ? 5.05.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    6. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    7. ? Popenoe. H. et al Lost Crops of the Incas National Academy Press ISBN 0-309-04264-X (1990-00-00)
    8. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    9. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    10. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)