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Pam Peirce

Yes, I just taught a class in which an Ecuadorian had not heard of it either, and when I passed samples to taste, said he had never tasted it. Perhaps it is originally from Peru, but is grown throughout the region. I have spoken to an Argentinian who ate nicely sliced pieces as an appetizer at a banquet there. Another name for it is yacon, a name probably known in South America. In Latin, it is Polymnia sonchifolia, or, previously, Polymnia edulis.

The Wikipedia article on yacon gives the English synonym of "Peruvian ground apple," and also says it is called "jicama" in Ecuador. (Jicama is the common name usually reserved for a root crop in the bean family, whereas yacon is more closely related to sunflower.)

By the way, I have added my recipe for a salad including the root that is described in the post above to the new, 2010, edition of Golden Gate Gardening.

I'd be interested to know what you find when you go to Bolivia!


i am bolivian and i never heard of sunroot and i would like to know the name in spanish to ask for it when i go there. thank you!

Pam Peirce

Hi Patricia and any other readers,

We have a number of sunroot plants potted up at the City College Horticulture Department. We will be having a plant sale on May 5th if you can come by then. If not, be in touch and we can arrange to sell you some.

Patricia E. McKeough

To Whom It May Concern:
I would love to try growing Polymnia Sonchifolia but am unable to find where to buy it. Would you be able to help me?
Patricia E. McKeough



i just wanted to thank you for your amazing book golden gate gardening. i grew up gardening with my mother but somehow never kept it up during the first decade out of the nest. now, in a new place with a great, sunny terrace, i've been bitten by the bug and spend every day out there. i got your book last week and it has been invaluable for helping me figure out how to deal with san francisco's climate. i love it so much!

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Golden Gate Gardening

The new, updated and expanded third edition of Golden Gate Gardening has more of the information you'll depend on about California microclimates, soils, container gardening, vegetable varieties, herbs, edible flowers, cutting flowers, fruits, managing pests and weeds. Now includes 4 planting calendars, 2 for cool summer microclimates, plus 2 for more inland microclimates. More recipes and tips for learning to harvest and eat from a garden too.

Jan 6, 2010

Wildly Successful Plants

These common and easy to grow California garden plants are being reclaimed by current garden designers for their beauty and sturdiness. Learn how to grow them well, care for them throughout the year, and use them in your garden for reliable, drought-tolerant, year-round color.

Mar 31, 2006

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