|Flower Colors:||orange, yellow, red|
|Flower Season:||late summer|
|Usage:||climber, edible flowers, edible storage organ|
Tropaeolum tuberosum Ruiz & Pav. is native to Chile. It is commonly known as mashua and is one of the root vegetables cultivated by the natives of the Andes. Because of the long history of cultivation, there are now hundreds of varieties, most of which can be found in South America. Only a few cultivars are more widespread worldwide. This plant does well in good tilled soil and with a support for the vines to climb on. The tubers are produced in autumn for light sensitive varieties. In climates with more mild winters, give the plants full sun, water, and fertilizers to yield a bigger crop. Flowers when pollinated will produce seeds that germinate easily in spring. The flowers can be eaten, just as in nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus).
The photos below were taken by Nhu Nguyen showing various aspects of the plant.
Tropaeolum tuberosum 'Ken Aslet' is a daylight insensitive form that flowers early in the Summer. The ordinary species flowers when the days are short and is often passed off as 'Ken Aslet'. Caution should be taken when buying this selection because of a virus that affects the vines. The photographs below were taken by David Pilling at the start of October in North West England.
Tropaeolum tuberosum var. lineamaculata 'Puca-añu' was originally introduced by Oregon Exotics. The cultivar fits the description of var. lineamaculata. This variety has vines with dark purple stems and are highly productive.