Smallanthus sonchifolius ‘Yacon’
Also known as the Peruvian Ground Apple, the Yacon is an edible tuber, unique for it’s sweet flavour and crunchy texture that is somewhere between that of an apple and watermelon. An herbaceous perennial, Yacon reproduces through it’s reddish rhizomes, which can be separated from the brown, edible tuber and stored until ready for replanting. To store, cover with slightly damp soil or sawdust and keep in a cool, dark, dry place. They are ready for replanting when they have begun to sprout.
Yacon will grow in poor, sandy soils, but crops best in rich, friable, well-drained soil. Plant 3cm below the ground and space 0.5m apart. The plant will reach maturity in 6-7 months, and the Yacon is ready for harvesting when the top growth has completely died back, this is usually by May. Yacon stalks can grow up to 2m high, with yellow daisy-like flowers.