|Tropaeolum tuberosum subsp. var.||Mashua|
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 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 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.
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Pests and diseases
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
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