Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Mauka: Unto Us A Child Is Born

Last year I managed to hoodwink my mauka plants into flowering. Those flowers produced a seed crop, albeit small, from two mauka varieties, Blanca and Roja.  I sowed the seeds about a week or so ago - cue some stirring music from Capellmeister Handel - and here's the result:


Not so much child, singular, as children, plural. Yes, this is a miraculous multiple birth at a much more sensible time of year than December - for plants anyway. They may look like small, undistinguished, generic seedlings to you, but to me they're altogether more wondrous. Hallelujah!



This is, I suppose, the culmination of about twenty years' acquaintance with an intriguing plant. I first became aware of mauka's existence when I got my grubby mitts on a copy of  Lost Crops of The Incas in about 1990. I still remember how I stayed up all night to read it. A root crop in the same family as Bougainvillea was a new one on me at that time and the fact that mauka was unknown to science prior to 1965 just added to its mystique. Thus began my protracted efforts to obtain a plant.

Eventually, more than fifteen years later, I realised that ambition. And now I've finally grown my own plants from my own seed: good things come to those who wait.

2 comments:

IAP said...

Nice one. Interested to see how much variation there is in the brood.

Rhizowen said...

Thanks IAP
Well, so far the roja offspring have reddish hypocotyls and the blanca don't.

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