Pachyrhizus erosus Jicama Mexican yam bean plant
Starter plant of Pachyrrhizus erosus or Jicama is a perennial climbing or trailing plant producing annual, twining stems about 15 feet long from a tuberous rootstock. The vines appear in Spring and die back in Autumn. The plant is often cultivated for its edible root and seedpods in tropical areas. When grown for its root the flowers should be removed. The tubers mature in 180 – 240 days. Young seed pods – cooked and used like French beans. The pods must be thoroughly cooked in order to remove the toxic principle rotenone. The seedpods should not be eaten since they are covered in irritant hairs. The leaves, mature seedpods and the seeds contain a poisonous glucoside. The leaves, stems, roots, ripe pods, and seeds can be toxic to humans. Grows best in zones 8-11.