Yacon is an interesting shrub, native to South America and grown by a few select communities. Yacon is healthy, completely edible, fully sustainable, and is really fun to grow. It grows to about 5′ tall with small sunflower like flowers. The leaves of the plant are medicinal and can be harvested to make tea. The tubers that grow below the ground are harvested in the fall if the plant in lifted in your growing zone. When grown in warmer climates similar to their tropical native climate, they can be harvested directly from the ground. The tubers are produced in about 6 months or so.
In addition to being a great medicinal plant, it also fixes nitrogen and is great for your garden and compost!
The part of the plant that yields the plant stalk and two types of underground tubers, the reddish rhizome directly at the base of the stem which is called a crown and the larger longer brown tubers, which are the part that are mainly eaten. Our variety of yacon crown is purple and nobby. The knobs will produce plant stalks when planted with most crowns in their first year producing 4-6 stalks, with tuber growth below the plant. The tubers themselves will not yield a plant if it is replanted as you must plant a crown to grow yacon.