Monday, July 27, 2015

'Lost crops of the Inca' seedling news

As many of you know if you read my blog regularly I am trying to grow as many of the 'Lost crops of the Incas' as I am able to in my area. Some like Jicama and cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) just haven't made it because of my climate or their taste but here are a couple of my new ones that I have grown from seed.

 Another very, very rare tuberous plant - Mauka (Mirabilis expansa). Two seeds have germinated so far. Sorry about all the snail pellets in the picbut this plant is reputed to be very tasty to snails and slugs.
 This plant produced thick roots that are tasty but not as tasty as the water they are boiled in, I hear.

They may not do well in my hot summers but I won't know unless I try.

My couple of extremely rare Ulluco plants (Ullucus tuberosus) are growing fairly well. It is winter so I am not dissapointed in their growth. I have started leaving them outside at night now since the days are getting longer.

They produce colourful little tubers like little new potatoes. This is the bigger plant.

I noticed a week or so ago that this oca seedling from last season has started shooting even though it has been so cold and frosty. All the other tubers are tucked up nicely in their pots ready to shoot when the weather warms up but this one is a bit impatient, not even bothered by the frosty mornings.
I didn't have a 'potential' tick next to this one when I was evaluating them but that might change now that it seems to like cool weather.

One to keep an eye on for people in cold climates perhaps. We will see.

This has been the coldest winter that I have seen in my life here. We have had enough cold hours now that many deciduous trees are budding out and flowering. It might be cold but with the expectation of a 'super' El Nino this coming summer I am not complaining at all. I really hope the summer will not be as hot and dry as they are predicting.


  1. Where did you find ulluco in Australia? If you ever have any extra tubers in the future I would be extremely interested in buying some from you or trading them for something.

    1. As you are probably aware, they are pretty rare and as far as I know there are only a few people with them in Australia. We may not have any tubers for sale for a couple of years so keep occasionally checking this blog, or contact me through the blog messaging.

    2. I meant the contact form :)

  2. Hi, just found you blog. I love it. I too grow rare heritage veges. Or try to. Was wondering if you had any ulluco seed available yet for sale?
    Would love to compare notes on other rare foods.

    1. Hi Tina,
      Thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to message me with the contact form if you would still like to compare notes and chat about rare food plants.