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Pachyrhizus tuberosus - (Lam.)Spreng.
                 
Common Name Jicama, Ajipo
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The seed might be poisonous[1].
Habitats Growing into trees and shrubs, often in disturbed areas and usually near the coast, from sea level to 500 metres.
Range S. America - Peru.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Pachyrhizus tuberosus Jicama, Ajipo


Pachyrhizus tuberosus Jicama, Ajipo
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Pachyrhizus tuberosus is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 6 m (19ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked[2]. Thirst quenching and nutritious[1]. A source of starch, it is used in custards and puddings[46, 61]. Individual roots can weigh up to 20kg[200]. Young seed pods - cooked and used like French beans[1, 46, 61]. The pods must be thoroughly cooked in order to remove the toxic principle rotenone[200].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Insecticide.

The plant contains rotenone, the active ingredient in the insecticide 'derris', and it has the potential to be used as an insecticide[200]. 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].
Cultivation details
Prefers a light rich sandy soil[1]. Often cultivated for its edible root and seedpods in tropical areas[46], this plant is not hardy outdoors in Britain and requires greenhouse treatment[200] 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[200]. 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[200].
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.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Pachyrhizus ahipaAhipa, Yam bean30
Pachyrhizus erosusYam Bean, Jicama, Mexican Yam40
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Expert comment
 
Author
(Lam.)Spreng.
Botanical References
200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Ian Graham Sat Mar 1 2008
See Buried Treasures Tasty Tubers of the World, pg 60-61 for more background, the website www.banana-tree.com for nursery source (Easton PA USA) IG Dundas ON Cda HZ5b
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Subject : Pachyrhizus tuberosus  

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