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A perennial plant in the daisy family closely related to Jerusalum Artichokes and Sunflowers, which is grown for its large edible tubers, -one of the ancient crops of the Incas.
It is hugely productive, and the tubers are crisp and juicy like an apple but with a sweet, floral, earthy flavour. Delicious eaten fresh or sliced into a salad, but can also be cooked in soups, stir fries, etc.
A great plant for food forest systems, it is hardy and doesn’t need much in the way of fertilizer or watering. It can handle full sun or part shade. The foliage is damaged by frosts, but the plant dies down for Winter anyway and will grow back happily from the tubers in Spring.
It produces two types of tuber: a smaller, knobbly kind, and a larger, smooth kind. Both are edible but the larger ones won’t grow, so we eat them and save most of the knobbly ones for planting.