Hannon othonna@gmail.com
Mon, 01 Dec 2008 20:00:25 PST

The commonly seen plant you describe is Boussingaultia baselloides, a
vigorous vine with an irregular tuberous rootstock. Ullucus tuberosus
is a different plant in the same family Basellaceae and is a root crop
in the Andes (like oca and potato). Also in this family is Basella
itself and a few others. I've never seen Ullucus but it seems like it
would make a good addition to any eclectic collection of geophytes or
root crops. I believe the tubers can grow large and the foliage is
also attractive. Time for a new introduction!

Dylan Hannon

Dylan Hannon Rare Bulbs

On 01/12/2008, Uli Urban <johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de> wrote:
> Dear James and Dear All,
>  Further to your question about Ullucus tuberosus, I think Ullucus is the
>  old name for Basella not in use anymore. Basella is a South American
>  tuberous climbing plant with thick succulent leaves and an enourmous
>  growth rate. It forms clumps of elongated tubers and on the aerial
>  climbing stems it also forms small aerial bulbils. It is frost tender so
>  makes an excellent screening plant without the risk of becoming a weed
>  in cold winter climates but in warm winter climates it can take over
>  large areas.
>  It is always found near human settlements in frost free climates like
>  the Canary Islands and from theres I once brought some bulbils. It
>  flowers with rather insignificant whitish flowers with a certain
>  fragrance but nothing spectacular. I have never tried to boil and eat
>  the tubers but I know it is a vegetable. I am sorry but I cannot help
>  out with propagation material as I stopped growing it because it grows
>  so fast and entwines with all its neighbours but it is in the commerce
>  under the current name of Basella.
>  Hope this helped, Uli
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