One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Central American climbing plant of the pea family, which has been cultivated for its edible tubers (jicama) since pre-Columbian times.
Pachyrhizus erosus, family Leguminosae
- ‘The third cultivated species, the Andean yam bean (P. ahipa, locally known as ahipa or ajipa), rarely occurs today outside Bolivia.’
- ‘Moreover, once harvested, all yam bean tubers can be kept in a natural state for several months without significant deterioration, whereas manioc roots must be covered with paraffin to discourage desiccation and the growth of fungi.’
- ‘Its sustainability is unmatched by any cereal, even maize, and for exactly that reason a number of traditional farming systems cultivate maize and yam bean together.’
- ‘Like the potato, the yam bean is a tuber - a fleshy subterranean stem.’
- ‘It looks like the bastard child of a potato and a coconut, and it's also called a yam bean or a Mexican turnip.’
- ‘Besides being consumed as food, the yam bean has been used in numerous other ways in traditional societies: It serves as an aid to lactation in nursing mothers, as a digestive, and as an antipyretic.’
- ‘Supercrop: the yam bean, a tuber undaunted by drought, poor soil, or insects, produces astonishing yields.’
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