This page is an open source resource guide for mashua. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable mashua selection possible. It contains cultural considerations, planting guidelines, descriptions, and the best places we’ve found for purchasing the species we’ve listed. As part of the One Community Highest Good food component of global transformation, this page will continue to evolve indefinitely to contain maintenance and care tips, accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model, and even recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property.
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Note: The photos and varietal descriptions for mashua are largely taken from Ben Kamm’s Sacred Succulents website. Ben has done a great deal to bring these forgotten vegetables to the attention of North American gardeners, traveling to the Andes and bringing back these treasures before they are lost. We will be buying our stock of these plants from the Sacred Succulent nursery, and recommend others to support this worthy enterprise.
Mashua (Tropaeolum tuberosum)
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Mashua is one of a complex of traditional root crops from high elevations in the Andes mountains. They are adapted to cold dry climates but may require frost protection in the autumn, since the tubers do not begin to form until after the equinox. The tubers are usually pale, white, or yellow and sometimes striped with purple or red. They are rather peppery in flavor when raw, but this quality disappears when cooked.
- Vines grow best with some support
- Most varieties are day length sensitive
- Tuber formation is best after fall equinox
- Plants flower in fall; this can be forced earlier by withholding water
- Mashau dislikes heat and prefers a long cool growing season with moisture
Plant tuber pieces or plants in early spring. Protect small plants with row covers or other protection if last frost threatens. Feed with compost dressings through the growing season but avoid manures or other high nitrogen sources, as these can cause rot. Vines will tolerate light frosts, but heavy frost will kill vines to the ground. Harvest tubers after vines have died down.
VIDEO COMING: Planting tutorial followed by time lapse growth videos
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Wikipedia – Mashua
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GMas#1 :: Sapu-anu Mashua
Sapu-anu mashua, introduced by Oregon Exotics, is a rosette-like, rounded-fat, deep-yellow tuber with lobed leaves and tubular orange flowers. It is an easy-to-grow, highly ornamental, pest resistant/repellant crop, with stems climbing up to 8 feet. This variety has a slight peppery flavor and is cooked like potatoes. Sapu-anu’s leaves and flowers are also edible, and it has been shown to reduce testosterone with regular consumption.
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GMas#2 :: Yurac-anu Mashua
Yurac-anu mashua is a cream-colored, grub-like tuber up to 6 inches in height, with purple speckles, tubular bright orange flowers, and red striations. This variety was originally received in the horticultural selection under ‘Ken Aslet’ and was distributed under that name. Later it was found to have originated in Peru and renamed an appropriate Quechua name.
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GMas#3 :: Q’illu-isanu Mashua
Q’illu-isanu mashua is a mild-flavored, fat, chunky tuber. This pale-yellow variety develops pink “eyes” and sometimes a spray of red speckles after light exposure.
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GMas#4 :: Puca-anu Mashua
Puca-anu is an elongated-cylindrical, highly productive mashua introduced by Oregon Exotics. This variety is yellow with purplish red flecks/stems and has lines covering the entire tuber.
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GMas#5 :: Mashua Blanco Mashua
Mashua Blanco originated in Columbia according to Cardenas, a Bolivian botanist. This mashua is known to be the easiest and most productive, though the tubers are not as showy as other types. The 2-6” white and cream-colored edible tubers have purple “eyes” and fine purple speckles near the stem. This variety has vines with rounded, lobed leaves and orange flowers.
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GMas#6 :: BK08524.14 Mashua
BK08524.14 mashua is the wild form of this ancient Andean tuber crop. It has large vines with lobed leaves and orange-red flowers. This variety forms porcelain white, finger-thick tubers of up to 12 inches long in the fall. It is both edible and beautiful with flecks of red becoming prominent after light exposure. BK08524.14 is useful for breeding with cultivated forms and can also be used medicinally for skin infections.
We will also be growing the following additional mashua:
Mashua (Tropaeolum tuberosum) :: GMas#7 -GMas#? (possibly more coming in the future)
Mashua Plant Material/Seed Providers:
Mashua Purchase Details
|REF # ||VEGETABLES ||VARIETY ||SOURCE ||QUANTITY ||UNIT COST ||TOTAL COST |
|GMas#1 ||Mashua ||Sapu-anu ||SS ||5 tubers ||$12.5 ||$62.5 |
|GMas#2 ||Mashua ||Yurac-anu ||SS ||5 tubers ||$9.5 ||$47.5 |
|GMas#3 ||Mashua ||Q’illu-isan ||SS ||5 tubers ||$12.5 ||$62.5 |
|GMas#4 ||Mashua ||Puca-anu ||SS ||5 tubers ||$12.5 ||$62.5 |
|GMas#5 ||Mashua ||Mashua Blanco ||SS ||5 tubers ||$8.5 ||$42.5 |
|GMas#6 ||Mashua ||BK08524.14 ||SS ||5 tubers ||$14.5 ||$72.5 |
|GMas#7 ||Mashua ||BK10501.2 ||SS ||5 tubers ||$14.5 ||$72.5 |
OTHER MASHUA RESOURCES
We are seeking awesome mashua resources. If you know of one, please click here to share it with us so we can make this page better.
MASHUA AS PART OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN MODEL
This section will evolve to include accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model.
MASHUA PREPARATION, PRESERVATION, AND RECIPES
This section will evolve to include testimonials, recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property first, and then later with additional information from other Highest Good collaborators and teacher/demonstration hubs.
Mashua is edible when cooked including the flower buds which can be pickled. They are good in soups, stews and can also be baked or fried plus the younger leaves can be used as a vegetable. Generally speaking they are also aromatic with a sweet potato like texture. Mashua can be soaked in molasses to be used as a dessert, roasted in traditional field ovens to be eaten as a delicacy and thinly cut up raw for use in salads to add a spicy crunch.
Courtesy of cipotato.com:
Despite its high nutritional value, mashua is not widely commercialized. Because it is used in traditional medicine to regulate libido (the Incas reportedly used it to dampen sexual desire in campaigning armies), men are reluctant to eat it.
Recipe courtesy of: Thirteen Vegetables
|Total Time: 30 min |
Prep: 15 min
|Yield: 4 Servings |
- Squeeze of Lemon
- In a skillet, brown butter and toast a combo of fresh ground cumin, coriander, and cinnamon until you can smell the roasty fragrance.
- French cut the parsnip and halve mashua tubers.
- Add to skillet and slow cook until tender.
- Add salt to taste and a squeeze of lemon.
LINKS TO OTHER EDIBLE PLANT PAGES