Purple Yacon

Smallanthus sonchifolis 'Morado'

A beet red-skinned variety of this edible tuberous root. Yacón originates in South America and is cultivated on the Eastern slopes of the Andes. It is most often eaten raw or sometimes cooked. Its juiciness and texture are comparable to jícama (but better!), with a very sweet, almost pear-like taste. It is becoming more common to see syrups made of yacón, used as a low-calorie sweetener, and because its carbohydrates are not absorbed by the body it is increasingly being used by diabetics as a sugar substitute. Our favorite way to eat it fresh is peeled, cut into rounds, and tossed in lemon or lime juice with pepper flakes and finely diced spearmint.

Water: Moderate

Hardiness: Frost Hardy

Habit: 4 to 6' tall, best planted in a mound for easier access to roots after first frost

Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Soil: Well-draining, well-amended soil

Origin: The Andes

Purple Yacon