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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Root - dried in the sun then boiled and eaten as a vegetable[1]. The root contains about 7% protein, a good quantity for a root crop[1] and up to 87% carbohydrate on a dry weight basis[2]. Roots can be the size of a man's forearm[2]. Some forms, especially those from Bolivia, contain an astringent substance that can burn the lips and mouth. When exposed to the sun these roots become sweet and are pleasant to eat[2]. Forms grown in Ecuador are not astringent[2]. Roots can be used in sweet or savoury dishes[2].

The cooking water makes an especially flavourful drink[1].

Leaves - raw. Added to salads[1][2]. The leaves contain about 17% protein[2] (this is probably based on the dry weight[K].

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Mirabilis expansa.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Mirabilis expansa.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed remains viable for several years[2]. Division. Dig up roots in the autumn, store in a cool moist frost-free place over the winter and replant in April.

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



Cultivation

Prefers a loose alluvial soil[2].

The plant might be intolerant of frost[2]. The top growth is certainly sensitive to frost, being cut back at temperatures below zero, but the root seems to be much hardier[K]. This species is occasionally cultivated for its edible root in the Andes, there are some named varieties. The plant is said to grow well in cold harsh environments with strong winds[1][2]. Many factors such as the plant's daylength requirement, are unknown but the plant seems to have potential as a crop in temperate areas of the world[2]. In the harsh environments where the plant grows it can take up to 2 years for the crop to mature, though it is usually harvested after a year. Yields of 50 tonnes per hectare after 2 years are possible[2].

Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[3].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Mirabilis expansa. 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 Mirabilis expansa.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Mirabilis expansa
Genus
Mirabilis
Family
Nyctaginaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    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.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    1 x meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type












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