Tropaeolum tuberosum

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 Tropaeolum tuberosum subsp. var.  Mashua
Tropaeolum tuberosum3.jpg
Habit: herbaceous
Height: to
Width: to
10ft 10ft
Height: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 10 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 10 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Bloom: early summer, mid summer, late summer
Exposure: sun, part-sun
Features: flowers, edible
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 8 to 10
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: red, orange, yellow, pink
Tropaeolaceae > Tropaeolum tuberosum var. ,

The mashua (see below for other names) is a perennial plant grown in the Andes for its edible tuber, which is eaten as a root vegetable. It is a major food source there. The tuber is rather peppery in flavor[1] when raw, but this quality disappears when cooked. It is related to garden nasturtiums, being of the Tropaeolum genus, not to be confused with the genus Nasturtium.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Tropaeolum tuberosum, Ruiz & Pav. Root producing a pyriform irregular tuber 2-3 in. long: st. climbing, glabrous: lvs. peltate near the base, cordate-orbicular, 5-lobed nearly or quite to the middle: fls. rather small, the calyx and long spur red, the petals yellow, small and nearly erect and little exceeding the calyx. Peru and Bolivia.—Plant stands some frost. In Peru, the tubers are eaten, and the plant is sometimes cult. in Eu. for the tubers. It appears in the American catalogues of European dealers. The tubers are usually boiled, or said to be eaten in a partially dried condition. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


The plant grows vigorously even in marginal soils and in the presence of weeds. It is also well-adapted to high-altitude subsistence agriculture, and gives high yields; 30 tonnes per hectare are yielded at a height of 3000 metres, but up to 70 tons per hectare have been produced under research conditions[2].

Its extraordinary resistance to insect, nematode, and bacterial pests is attributed to high levels of isothiocyanates. In Colombia, it is planted as a companion crop to repel pests in potato fields.


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