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tropical South America.10 Its home is thought to be somewhere in the upper basin of the Amazon River. It is similar to ahipa, but the plant is a large herbaceous vine climbing taller than 10 m. Its large, tuberous root is used like ahipa's. At present, this species is restricted to isolated areas in the Amazonian regions of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and possibly Venezuela and Colombia. It is grown by local Indian tribes in shifting cultivation or occasionally is collected from the wild.

Ahipa has undomesticated relatives, such as P. panamensis and P. ferrugineus, that produce roots, but whether they are edible is uncertain.11







10 Some common names are nupe (Venezuela), jacutupé or macucú (Paraguay and Brazil), and dabau (Ecuador).
11 In greenhouse trials, the wild species have produced yields of similar quantity and tubers of the size and weight of the cultivated species. Information from M. Sorensen.


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