Seed - raw. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[K]. The seed is delicious when roasted and eaten like peanuts.An edible oil is obtained from the seed. It is rich in oleic acid.
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Plants are not very frost-tolerant, they can be grown as an annual in temperate climates, and are sometimes cultivated for their edible fruit in warmer areas of the world. A very vigorous plant, it can produce shoots 25 metres long in 1 year from seed in Britain. This is the hardiest member of the genus but its fruits are coarse and stringy when grown in Britain so it is usually grown as an ornamental plant only. Plants are day-length sensitive, flowering only in late summer and autumn. This species does not hybridize naturally with other members of the genus though crosses have been made under controlled conditions.In America it takes 3 months from seed to first harvest and 6 months to obtain mature fruit. The average fruit size is 9 kilos and this contains 2 cups of seed.
Problems, pests & diseases
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Polycultures & Guilds
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