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PERUVIAN PARSNIP GROWING INFORMATION
© Frances Michaels
BOTANICAL NAME:Arracacia xanthorrhiza
Peruvian parsnip; Andean parsnip; apio criollo; arracacha; arrecate
Apiaceae, the carrot family
This herbaceous perennial root vegetable, native to the Andes in South America, is suited to many areas of
Australia. It produces large creamy-white roots similar in size to a carrot. It will grow in any good
well-drained garden soil, but sandy soil is preferred with a pH of 5 to 6. It is relatively frost-hardy and
produces best tuber growth between 14-21°C.
Secondary tubers are eaten boiled, baked or fried; they have a crisp texture and delicate flavour. The roots
are high in vitamin A, calcium and have a starch content of 10-25% which is easily digested. Young, tender
stems are eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable. It can also be used as an animal fodder with the coarse main
tuber and the leaves fed to livestock.
The recommended planting time is spring in temperate areas, at the beginning of the rainy season in
subtropical and tropical areas. Propagation is by offshoots produced by the main crown. After cutting the
offshoot from the crown, the leaves are trimmed back to just a few centimetres. The base of the offset is
also trimmed short, on a slant, leaving only a third of the offshoot stem. The base of the offshoot is cut
into a cross, to stimulate root development. They are then left to dry in a sheltered environment for 2-3
days before planting. Rooting the offshoots in potting mix before transplanting to the garden improves the
rate of establishment.
The main crop of edible secondary tubers (offshoots of the main tuber) matures 300-400 days after planting,
some young tubers can be harvested after 120-240 days. If the plant flowers then harvesting is recommended.
Not to NORFOLK ISLAND, NT, SA, TAS or WA
SORRY but due to quarantine restrictions between Australian States no plants at all can be ordered
by residents of Norfolk Island
. These restrictions are very important as they prevent
the spread of plant pests and diseases. No potatoes, garlic, shallots, strawberries or tubestock
can be sent to South Australia
. No tubestock can be sent to
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