I’m growing Chaya (Cnidoscolus chayamansa), Florida Pistachio (edible Jatropha curcas), Enset and Chocola (Jarilla chocola)
I’m dying to grow peas, I’ve got my eye on the tendril varieties, but I don’t think they could take my heat. I tried Fava Beans (a close relative) just before summer, a variety originally from Guatemala, and the plants were struck with a blight. None survived to flowering, though I blame the blight a bit less than the heat and dryness – I didn’t irrigate.
I’m growing a day-neutral variety of Winged Bean from Baker Creek Seeds. The plants died back to the roots after giving me a pair of pods, and they’ve now grown back and are flowering profusely, with one big pod so far. My hand for scale in the last picture (with a pair of purple yam bulbils):
I tried Hopniss (Nutty #3 from OIKOS), but vine growth was somewhat meager the first season. With one survivor, I’m hoping the tuber will put on some more growth this season, and multiply into more tubers for propagation. I’m not sure if this particular variety sets seed on its own. Both of these bean species are sharing containers with yam vines, so that may account for decreased vigor.
That’s Peperomia pellucida alright. It’s a fairly common weed here, but nobody eats it. I’ve tried it, and found its flavor strangely minty, though I don’t recall the nuances (it’s been a while).
I’m collecting yams. Chinese Yam hasn’t been as vigorous for me as I’d like, but it’s a survivor, and with good starchy flavor. I got purple yams, Guinea yams, and several edible air potatoes to name a few. Yams are awesome! I also have Cocoyams (Colocasia esculenta, Xanthosoma spp. & Amorphophallus paeoniifolius).
I tried Oca early this year (varieties Mockrocks, Sockeye and Puka Ñawi), with Ulluco (Queets), Mashua (Copalis) and Mauka (seed-grown Blanco), all from Cultivariable. All I can say is, they really don’t like heat. Mashua was hit the worst, I fried one tuber by planting it in a sunny location. I placed the second one in deep shade, but while it did put out meager growth, it eventually succumbed to a stem rot (still not sure what dealt the killing blow, but the heat didn’t help).
Mauka put on some pretty good growth initially, but as the seasons got hotter, it would occasionally die back and return small. I put it in shade near the Mashua (though brighter), and it exploded with growth again. I lost 3 plants after returning them to the sun, and have one lone survivor, which I plan to put in a shady spot in-ground once it puts on a bit of growth.
Oca and Ulluco did surprisingly well for me, for a time, but between the excessively moist soil I used for them and the shady location, they started succumbing to stem rot. They died around the same time as some of the Mauka, after putting their containers in full sun.
I did neglect my plants in preparation for some family travels, which I feel contributed strongly to my Andean Tubers’ demise. I doubt Mashua will ever do well for me, but I think there’s a legitimately decent chance that Oca and Ulluco would do well for me, provided I plant them directly in the ground, in a well-drained yet irrigated, brightly shaded location (I’ve got a spot behind the house, near the vegetable garden, which would be the perfect spot, with mostly morning sun). I haven’t had a chance to try the others yet, but I placed an order for Oca (Wishkah), which I’m hoping to do better with this time around.
The last Andean tuber, common for y’all but exotic when grown in my neck of the woods, is the humble potato. I’ve sent again for some GRIN accesions, aiming to develop them for a tropical environment. Heat, moisture, pest and disease resistance, pigmentation, all of that, in diploid, tetraploid and wild stock. Tuberosum, andigena, phureja, cardiophyllum, ehrenbergii, and a few other wild species. I predict heavy losses in the first seasons, but once the survivors are apparent, selecting and improving upon the best performers should be simple enough. In the meantime, Potato Mint (Plectranthus rotundifolius) is giving me decent harvests.