Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Smallanthus sonchifolius

Yacon

Fruit Trees > Perennial vegetables > Yacon - Apple of the Earth
Also known as the 'Earth Apple' this is one of the ancient crops of the Inca's. This relative of the sunflower is popular to the people of Columbia, Ecuador and Argentina. The plant produces large tubers similar in appearance to sweet potatoes, but they have a much sweeter taste and crunchy flesh. The tubers can be eaten raw as a refreshing treat on their own, finely sliced and mixed into salads,boiled or baked, fried as chips or prepared as a pickle. There is also commercial interest as a flavouring for yoghurt. They are sweet, juicy and almost calorie free. The main stem can also be used like celery. The texture and flavour have been described as a cross between a fresh apple and watermelon. The plants are vigorous, herbaceous, perennial and extremely hardy tolerating hot summers, drought and poor soils. The foliage of the plant dies back in the winter after flowering at which time the tubers are harvested carefully to avoid damage to the tubers. They tend to continue sweetening if left in a cool dry and dark place for a week or two before consumption. The offsets are then replanted for the next season.
Other Names: Sun Root, Apple of the Earth

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Specifications of Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Preferred Climate Subtropical, Warm TemperateLearn About Climate Zones

Grown From RhizomeLearn About Propagation Methods

Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions) 1-2m

Plants required to Pollinate 1 (Self Pollinating)Learn about Pollination

Can it Handle Frosts? Sometimes, Yes

Amount of leaves in Winter? No Leaves (Deciduous)

Quarantine Restrictions to these Areas WA

Suitability in Pots Yes

Water Requirements Moderate Watering

Fruiting/Harvest Months July, August, September

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Yacon - Apple of the Earth Reviews & Tips

Star Rating

Jane16
★★★★ 2y ago

EASTWOOD, NSW, Australia

Plant didn't like the full Australian sun. Some sunburn, droopy leaves and required daily watering. Now it is autumn and the plant looks much happier.

Cassara711
★★★★★ 2y ago

PARKES, NSW, Australia

Love Yacon Syrup, would love to grow my own to make.

davewastech
★★★★ 3y ago

WILLOUGHBY EAST, NSW

Grew from crowns planted Sept 2016. After a slow start they then grew quite rapidly. Taste was very juicy and very crunchy, but only slightly sweet. All my attempts to "improve the sweetness" by storing in the dark, leaving in the sun, etc (as per inte...

howesij1
3y ago

FERNY GROVE, QLD

Arrived mushy tried to dry out but just rotted away

Smithd832
5y ago

Virginiab, VA

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

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Smithb862
5y ago

Virginiab, VA

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

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Smitha317
5y ago

Virginiab, VA

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

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Carol Langlois
5y ago

Tillamook, OR

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

I'm still in the discovery stage of the Yacon tuber. I love the leaves for tea. I've dried the tubors in the past and found them quite delicious!

scribbly
★★★★★ 6y ago

LAWSON, NSW, Australia

Big harvest, great flavour and extremely easy to grow.

Smithb256
6y ago

Virginiab, VA

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

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Brian Burgess
7y ago

Floraville , NSW , Australia

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Deep soil will produce the best tubers

gardengirl
★★★★ 8y ago

Illawarra, NSW

Fruit from under the ground? Awsome. Now to break up that clay...Sept 2013 Was in a pot until last Autumn then was put in the ground. Grew big enough before winter to harvest a few tubers. Pleasant, very juicy and crunchy raw. Only slightly sweet. Wor...

Merryn Webster
8y ago

Kaukapakapa, NZ

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

My horses love them, been growing them for years

krazykangaroo1
★★★★ 9y ago

Casterton, Vic, Aus

I like growing yacon because it is easy to grow and loves a lightly shaded spot where not much else will grow well.It produces well even in large pots and you can eat them raw or cooked. Make sure you air the tubers for a couple of weeks after digging ...

Robyn1
★★★★ 10y ago

East Coburg, vic, Australia

Yacon is crisp crunchy root vegetable which has a sweet taste. While it is not a very exciting looking plant (think bulbous yam) and it is not high in nutritous value, its sweet crunchy texture mean it can be used raw or lightly cooked in either s...

Tabs
★★★★ 10y ago

PEAKHURST, NSW

Had this root for years and is very prolific.  Have to watch out for wet feet as it will rot.  Will fall about everywhere so needs to be tied up.  Tastes great if not too watery and though can be eaten instead of bamboo shoots it tastes better raw t...

Dr. Andrew Willhoite
10y ago

Scotts Head, NSW

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

We have been doing experiments on feeding yacon to sheep. Our test group had a 10% gain in body weight compared to 1% in our control (carrot) group. Exciting results!

JohnMc1
★★★★★ 10y ago

WALLARAH, NSW, Australia

very vigorous. Gotta keep the water up on the hotest days.  All the tips burnt off a couple of times but it bounces back very well.

Tropicdude
★★★★★ 11y ago

Santo Domingo, National District, DO

I want to re introduce this plant into this country ( Dom. Rep.) it was first introduced into Europe by an Italian that discovered it being used here back in the 1930s. As far as I know its completly gone now. no one has it, no one has heard of, even s...

Brentan Doeven
11y ago

Warrnambool, VIC, Australia, Australia

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Yacon is amazing! I harvested a heap of tubers from my plant. Though I have learned from experience, for storage overwinter keep in COOL, dark dry place.. otherwise the tubers wrinkle and go soft, and rot upon replanting. Enjoy!

Rosalie1
★★★ 11y ago

Image Flat, QLD, Australia

Purchased at Yandina Market.  Very healthy little plant.  $2.5Went really well until it was unearthed and eaten by turkey

Lorna
★★★★★ 11y ago

Albany, WA, Australia

Zero maitenance other than harvesting or thinning out every so often. Tops really good animal fodder or mulch (high protein). Two types of roots. One type sweet potato shaped but texture of water chestnut. Peel before eating as skin is bitter. Contains...

Lee1
★★★★ 11y ago

Mentone, VIC, Australia

This plant actually survived the extreme Summer conditions but didn't get to the suggested 2 - 3 metres tall. I have added compost etc to our sandy soil and I have split it up and hope to have a good crop. I dug up a couple of tubers and ate them - ...

Elyacon Agri-ventures
11y ago

San Pedro, Laguna, PH

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Yacon is truly a remarkable plant. It is indeed a wonder root crop! A safer natural alternative for your health! For more information, you can also visit us at www.elyacon.biz

Cheryll Frank
11y ago

Lexington, KY

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

A friend just harvested some Yacon and it has a distinct turpentine odor--not the sweet and crispy flavor that was promised.

Edenton
11y ago

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Just started growing in my back yard. Seems it grows happily ,will harvest it after winter next year

S.heinze
12y ago

Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Just tried mine again after 3 months of storage- much sweeter than when first harvested. Easily grown in Melbourne.

Jan Hurle
12y ago

Tewantin, QLD, Australia

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Just dug up my yacon, pleanty of tubers and slips for next year interesting eating just raw slighly sweet so I think kids would love could be added to any vegetables for kids

Belen Magulta
12y ago

Kidapawan City, COT

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Yacon can lower sugar levels and clean our blood.

Irma Wycoco Koon
12y ago

Flock Rd. Beaverton, MI

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

I have been exploring yakon,from juice and the meat of the fruit,from side dish to dessert,a miracle tubers that is helpful medicinally and food subtitutes,thanks GOD for creating this plant,i call this dollar tuber.

Irma
12y ago

Beaverton, MI

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Good for everything,medicinal and cooking

Jp
13y ago

Manila, NY

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Yacon is very much appreciated when dried and could prolong shelf-life to 6months to one year

German Dubouzet Briones
14y ago

Baguio City, PHL.

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Plant as many as possible its like a treaure hiding on the ground (tubers) its a good investment the price is soaring high

David White
14y ago

Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Yacon - Apple of the Earth

Well worth growing. Taste is exactly as described. Delicious sliced, oiled and roasted. Grate raw for salads, steams well. Give them good soil but do not overfertilise unless you want lots of leaves and not tubers.

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