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and diseases. In addition, selection for mutants with a single short flowering period is needed. (Such determinate types have been located in southern Peru and Bolivia and probably can also be found elsewhere in the Andes.18 ) Synchronous ripening would be particularly useful in many locations dependent on mechanical harvesting.

Adaptability trials should be conducted in different parts of the world. Other cultivated lupins are fairly specific in their temperature and soil requirements; tarwi, too, might prove to have limited adaptability.

Practical tests of the seeds in food products should be undertaken. This is likely to generate a demand that will stimulate commercial production, especially in the high Andes.


Botanical Name Lupinus mutabilis Sweet

Family Leguminosae (Fabaceae)

Common Names

Quechua: tarwi

Aymara: tauri

Spanish: altramuz (Spain), chocho (Ecuador and northern Peru), tarhui (southern Peru and Bolivia), chuchus muti (Bolivia)

English: tarwi, pearl lupin, Andean lupin

Origin. Pre-Inca people domesticated this lupin more than 1,500 years ago, and it became a significant protein contributor to the region's food supply. It provides a common motif on both ancient and modern ceramics and weavings.

Description. Tarwi is an erect annual, growing 1–2.5 m tall, with a hollow, highly branched stem and short taproot. The showy, multicolored purple to blue flowers (each with a yellowish spot) are held high above the digitate leaves. To attract pollinating insects, the flowers exude a honeylike aroma.

The hairy, 5–10 cm long pods are flattened, about 2 cm across, and contain 2–6 (or more) ovoid seeds 0.6–1.0 cm across.

Horticultural Varieties. Many ecotypes and landraces exist throughout the central Andes. As mentioned, South American researchers have begun selecting for higher, more uniform yields and less bitter seeds. However, standardized varieties are not yet available.

18 Information from E. von Baer.

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