Heritage Status: New Zealand
Bio-Region of Origin: Unknown
Quantity: A starter clump
Description: A stunning looking member of the Asteraceae family with large red furry leaves and little yellow sunflower type flowers, which flower late autumn when you harvest the large juicy sweet tubers. This is a South American vegetable which produces huge crops. Two kinds of tubers form. Large smooth storage tubers which are the ones you eat, and smaller knobbly ones that form just below the surface of the ground and are kept for planting next year’s crop. The crunchy tubers are sweet, juicy and carroty and are being hailed as a wonder food for diabetics.
To help you decide which varieties will be best for you.
This excerpt from the Koanga Garden Guide is filled with valuable information.
Planting Instructions: Grows best in full sun in soils that are not water logged. Needs regular moisture during the growing season. Plant into prepared ground that has had compost added in early spring. We plant at approximately 40cm spacings. Harvest the juicy tubers from autumn. The eating ones are the smooth large ones while the smaller knobbly ones are for replanting. Cannot tolerate severe frosts so harvest the tubers before severe frosts occur. In mild, drier areas can be left to store in the ground over winter.