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Uses

Toxic parts

The seed might be poisonous[1].

Edible uses

Notes

Root - raw or cooked[2]. Thirst quenching and nutritious[1]. A source of starch, it is used in custards and puddings[3][4]. Individual roots can weigh up to 20kg[5]. Young seed pods - cooked and used like French beans[1][3][4]. The pods must be thoroughly cooked in order to remove the toxic principle rotenone[5].

Seedpod

Material uses

The plant contains rotenone, the active ingredient in the insecticide 'derris', and it has the potential to be used as an insecticide[5]. Derris is a relatively safe insecticide in that it does not affect warm-blooded animals and also breaks down into harmless substances with 24 hours of being used. It does, however, kill some beneficial insects and is also toxic to fish and amphibians[K].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Pachyrhizus tuberosus.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber

Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of rich soil and grow them on fast. Plant them out after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection, such as a cloche, until they are growing away well.

Division of the root tubers in the autumn. Store the roots in a cool but frost-free place over the winter, planting them into pots in the greenhouse in early spring and planting them out after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection, such as a cloche, until they are growing away well.

Cuttings.

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



Cultivation

Prefers a light rich sandy soil[1].

Often cultivated for its edible root and seedpods in tropical areas[3], this plant is not hardy outdoors in Britain and requires greenhouse treatment[5] but could possibly be grown as a half-hardy annual. When grown for its root the flowers should be removed[1]. Plants are unlikely to form a tuber when grown in Britain due to their photoperiodic requirements[5]. This means that the plants require between 11 - 13 hours of daylight hours per day in order to initiate tuber production[K].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[5].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Pachyrhizus tuberosus. 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 Pachyrhizus tuberosus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Pachyrhizus tuberosus
Genus
Pachyrhizus
Family
Leguminosae
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
10
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
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    6 x meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.5 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.65.75.8 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)