Thursday, 13 May 2010

Yond Yacons Have a Lean and Hungry Look


Shakespeare, with his impressive knowledge of plants and their uses, might have looked on my yacon seedlings and said the above. I'm guessing that yacon hadn't made it to London by the 1590s or Stratford's finest scribbler would have mentioned it: "Why man, it doth bestride the narrow border like a colossus and we petty men walk under its huge branches and peep about.... Let me have about me roots that are fat". You get the drift.


Fast forward a few centuries, stepping nimbly from doublet and hose into a zoot suit and let the good times roll with Louis Jordan. "Long, lean and lanky, ain't had nothing to eat" is his description of the eponymous protagonist in the 1945 hit Caldonia. That would apply equally well to my yacons. I've been waiting for the weather to warm up and lacking the necessary space to pot them on, they've got distinctly malnourished. Ain't that the truth! Well Louis, they're my babies and I love 'em just the same. I'm hoping that as soon as they get into the ground, they'll forgive me.

7 comments:

Emma said...

Mine got a touch of frost the other night, thanks to the cold weather. As you say, let's hope they're forgiving!

Vegetable Heaven said...

That leaf reminds me of something - but I'm feeling a bit brain dead at the moment!

orrflo said...

It looks like they didn't get enough light. As I told you before, I still have the impression that these yacons grown from seeds are infact better growers than the ones grown from tubers, the traditional method. Mine do show that characteristic bi-coloured 'morado' leaf. Over here it's amazingly dry (and cold) so maybe these yacons will get stressed again and produce another batch of seeds. My germination percentage was quite low, only about 10% germinated, and none of the morado seeds produced a plant. Still, I'm quite optimistic about this, if we could get the morado types crossed in with the plain-leaf varieties, we could have some surprises!

Rhizowen said...

Emma - it was the potatoes that got frosted in my case.

Vegetable Heaven - when your brain has recovered sufficiently, let me know what it reminds you of.

Frank - they probably did get a bit short of light. You're right, they seem to be much more vigorous than plants from tubers. I'm sure these would be almost full size by now if they'd had more space and bigger pots.

Vegetable Heaven said...

Two things - It has a look of Good King Henry - but it's a dead ringer for Sow thistle. Which is Sonchus. When I checked your other post (Rock on!) well, blow me, it's sonchifolius. Should have been obvious really, had brain been in gear!

Jeremy said...

Do you suppose the seedling vigour might be the result of leaving behind some tuber-borne viruses? Like true potato seed.

Rhizowen said...

Vegetable Heaven - I can see what you mean about the resemblance to Sonchus, although it's on an altogether larger scale.

Jeremy - that must be a distinct possibility. Although I've never seen any obvious viruses in yacon, it's hard to believe that they aren't lurking in there somewhere.

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