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Home » Crop of the Week Archive » Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius, Asteraceae)

Aided by public research investments, this root from the Andean highlands has made a remarkable transition from utter neglect to market prominence. Rarely seen in the fields of poor farmers just a few years ago, yacon is now widely consumed in its native range. It has also emerged as a novel crop in various Asian countries, where the succulent and crunchy texture of the roots is much liked. Critical for the success of yacon was the discovery that its roots are an excellent source of nutritionally desirable oligo-fructose. The leaves also contain anti-hyperglycemic principles and are used as tea.

Andean roots and tubers: Ahipa, arracacha, maca and yacon

Yacon roots (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Yacon roots (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Yacon flower (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Yacon flower (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Yacon rootstock (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Yacon rootstock (Smallanthus sonchifolius)