A couple of the subterranean talet seeds popped up amongst my oca seedlings in the spring and in an act of sentimentality, I decided to allow them leave to grow. I was also curious to see how the two plants would co-exist. Now I know.
Oca is no slouch when it comes to suppressing the growth of other plants, but it seems to have met its match in talet. This plant could qualify as Cornish kudzu.
cleistogamous flower at its end. These pollinate without opening and then burrow into the soil where they swell into nice rotund beans, assuming the slugs don't graze them off first. Like oca, they're frost tender, so, in theory at least, it would be possible to harvest both together when they've succumbed to the cold. If your enthusiasm for plunging your hands into frozen soil begins to wane, I'm wondering whether a couple of chickens might enjoy scratching around for the seeds while you wait for the feeling to return to your fingers.
So there you have it, a vigorous nitrogen-fixing groundcover which produces delicious beans - it should surely be on the wish list of all aspiring polyculturists. Free machete with every packet.