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and northern Peru. They should be sought and preserved for their possible use in future breeding programs.

Analyses of the relative nutritional merits of existing varieties should be carried out.

SPECIES INFORMATION

Botanical Name Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft

Family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

Synonym Arracacia esculenta DC

Common Names

Quechua: laqachu, rakkacha, huiasampilla

Aymara: lakachu, lecachu

Spanish: arracacha, racacha, apio criollo (Venezuela); arrecate (Latin America); racacha, virraca (Peru); zanahoria blanca (Ecuador)

Portuguese: mandioquinha-salsa, mandoquinha, batata baroa, batata salsa, batata cenoura

English: arracacha, racacha, white carrot, Peruvian carrot, Peruvian parsnip

French: arracacha, panème, pomme de terre céléri

Origin. Arracacha has probably been cultivated as long as any plant in South America. Its wild ancestor is unknown, although there are many semidomesticated types that may include arracacha's progenitor. The greatest germplasm variation is in Ecuador and adjacent areas of Colombia and Peru.

Description. This perennial is a stout herb, somewhat resembling celery in form. It is one of the largest of the cultivated umbellifers, and the crushed stems and roots have the aroma characteristic of the family. Stems and leaves usually attain a height of about 1 m and are ensheathed in dark green or purple leaves. Flowers are purple or yellow, small, and formed in flat clusters on stalks radiating from a central stem. Although many flowers are fertile, arracacha is generally harvested before completing a seed cycle.

The cylindrical central root bears numerous lateral roots that are 5–25 cm long and swollen to 2–6 cm in diameter. Their flesh ranges in color from white to yellow or purple, with a creamy white exterior. In some types, a cross section of the main root shows attractive rings of various colors.



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