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Ullucus tuberosus - Caldas.
                 
Common Name Olluco
Family Basellaceae
USDA hardiness 8-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range S. America - Peru, Bolivia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Ullucus tuberosus Olluco


commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ullucus_tuberosus.jpg
Ullucus tuberosus Olluco
flickr.com/photos/arthur_chapman
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Ullucus tuberosus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Tuber - cooked[61, 196]. Starchy and mucilaginous[1, 2, 22, 27, 34]. The tubers can be up to 8cm long[K]. Ulluco is a staple food in South America, being used in most of the ways that potatoes are used, indeed when boiled and fried they taste very much like potatoes[183]. In the Andes a popular dish called 'chuño' is made by alternately freezing and drying the tubers[183]. The tubers contain about 14% carbohydrate, 1 - 2% protein, almost no fat or fibre[196]. They are fairly rich in vitamin C, about 23mg per 100g fresh weight[196]. The tubers store well and will last up to 12 months in cool conditions[196]. Leaves - raw or cooked[22, 183, 196]. Mucilaginous and not that exciting[K]. They contain about 12% protein dry weight[196].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Prefers a rich light soil with plenty of leaf mould[27, 34, 200]. Produces reasonable yields in marginal soils[196]. Established plants are moderately drought tolerant[196]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 6.5[196]. Ulluco is often cultivated for its edible tubers in S. America[183, 196], it has been tried, unsuccessfully, as a potato substitute in Britain[1]. It is about as hardy as the potato plant in Britain, the foliage withstanding light frosts and the tubers tolerating colder conditions[K]. One report says that plants are very frost-resistant[171] but that has not been our experience[K]. The tubers are not formed until late in the season so a mild autumn is required for good yields. The tubers are formed at the roots and also from shoots growing out of the leaf axils and into the soil[K]. Earthing up the stems as tubers form in late summer can improve yields[196]. Average yields are 5 - 9 tonnes per hectare but there is a lot of potential to increase this[196] Slugs are very fond of this plant and will soon completely destroy it if given a chance[K]. Plants do not usually produce fertile seed but researchers in Finland have obtained seed under controlled circumstances[196].
Propagation
Seed - we have no information on this species but, if you can get hold of any seed, apart from letting us have some you could try sowing it in a warm greenhouse in early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and either grow them on in pots in the greenhouse for their first year, or plant them out into the soil in the greenhouse. Division of tubers in the late autumn. Harvest them once the top growth has been killed by autumn frosts and store them in a cool but frost-free place over winter. Plant them out in April. Cuttings in summer. Very easy[K]. The stem only needs one leaf node to enable it to root [196].
Other Names
Oca quina, Olluco, Ullucu, Chigua, Chuguas, Hubas, Melloco, Michini, Miguri, Muchuchi, Olloco, Papa lisa, Ryba, Timbos, Tiquino, Ulluma, Illako, Michurui, Micuche, Ruba, Rubia, Melloco, melloca, papa chola, papa lisa, papa verde, ruba, ulluco, ulluma.
Found In
Andes, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Peru, PNG, South America, Venezuela.
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants
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Expert comment
 
Author
Caldas.
Botanical References
200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Cecilia Ferreyra Wed Apr 21 12:49:11 2004

Link: The National Academies Press Lost Crops of the Incas

Elizabeth H.
Cecilia Ferreyra Wed Apr 21 12:55:25 2004

Link: CIID: Biblioteca - Documentos EL MELLOCO: Características, técnicas de cultivo y potencial en Ecuador

Elizabeth H.
Oscar Wed Dec 7 2005
Hi My name is Oscar Back in August a friend give me and olluco. One single olluco. It is inside a water container. to my surprise flowers came out. It is by a window, and looks very happy. The flowers are about 12'' long and very healthy. Question: should I put the olluco in regular soil? Thanks. Oscar
Elizabeth H.
Lulu Harvey Sun Sep 13 2009
Thank you for your information. This is my first year cultivating ollucos and with your help I hope to be succesful. Best regards, Lulu
Elizabeth H.
Antony Noy Fri Jan 8 2010
Hello! My name is Antony Noy from London/UK. I have some ulluco tubers for sale. If interested please email me on: Antonybg@hotmail.co.uk
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Subject : Ullucus tuberosus  

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