Botanical Name: Manihot esculenta
Cassava is a shrubby plant growing to about 1-3m, with thin stems and attractive large palm-shaped leaves. A perennial shrub cassava produces a high yield of tuberous roots in 6 months to 3 years after planting. The tubers are the main part that is eaten, but the leaves can be enjoyed as a vegetable dish.
Cassava is an important daily source of starch for 300-600 million of the poorest people around the world. It is among the most productive uses of subsistence land, producing 40% more starch than rice, and 25% more than maize..
Note that all cassava is poisonous!! In some bitter varieties, all parts of the plant are laced with a highly toxic poison (hydrocyanic or prussic acid). Sweet varieties have lower or marginal concentrations of the toxin. But the more toxic varieties produce bigger tubers! Plants from the tropics have evolved toxins as a defense against predators more so than those from temperate climates which is why they require cooking in order to eat them. Thorough cooking dispels or denatures the harmful toxins, and makes the remaining portion safe to eat.
Powdered cassava is treated like a flour and made into cakes, unleavened bread, pasta, crackers. Sliced cassava is also made into crisps. Flat bread made from cassava meal can keep for a year without spoiling. Dried chips or pellets are used as animal feed.
Young tender leaves are rich in Vitamin B and protein, but also has more of the toxins. They are eaten as a vegetable. Like the tubers, they have to be properly cooked to remove their toxins.
Plant Information or Specifications
Sub Categories (HashTags)
Perennial Vegetables (#PerennialVegetables)
Learn About Climate Zones
Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions)
Plants required to Pollinate
1 (Self Pollinating)
Learn about Pollination
Can it Handle Frosts?
Amount of leaves in Winter?
All Leaves (Evergreen)
Quarantine Restrictions to these Areas
Suitability in Pots
July, August, September
Customer Comments on Cassava
We got two varieties of cassava - white and yellow flesh. Yellow one taste better and cheesy a bit | Edenton - Brisbane, QLD 26-Oct-2008
Does cassava grow in areas where there is frosts. eg Cessnock hunter valley N.S.W | Ron Newton - Cessnock, N.S.W 02-Dec-2008
Tanks | Ramin Khosravi Meleamiri - Los Anjeles, RAM 01-Jan-2009
Cassava is a tropical root crop, no it will not grow in Cessnock and Hunter Valley, Cassava does not tolerate freezing conditions.It requires at least 8 months of warm weather to produce a crop. | Max Barallon - Melbourne, VIC 10-Oct-2009
I have mine in loose fertile soil - plenty of manure; n get kilograms of large tubers from each plant. Water well; full sun. We and neighbours experiment on how to prepare / cook / serve the cassava in place of potatoes. | Barry Beetham - Brassall, Ipswich, QLD. AUSTRALIA 25-Sep-2010
I come from a country of South America and I grew up eating lots of cassava. It can be cut into 10 cms pieces and fried they are vey nice. You can make soup with it too. Boil it and make it into a paste and grate lots of cheese and bake it. | Jakeline Pullman - Hewett, SA 30-Jan-2011
There are pink, white and yellow flesh. The yellow flesh is by far the best one. I wonder if I can grow this in Adelaide, even if I plant it in a pot. I miss eating cassava, regardless of the variety. | Jakeline Pullman - Hewett, SA 30-Jan-2011
Try growing them in a plastic house on a pallet in a controlled temperature enviroment/solar power/variable heat/lamp | Fook Cheong - Brisbane, QLD 29-Oct-2016
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