The Q&A Archives: Mandioquinha Yams

Question: On a recent trip to Brazil, I discovered a fabulously delicious root vegetable called "Mandioquinha". It is yellow in color and cooks to a soft, sweet pinapple/banana flavor with the cooked texture of carrot/potato. I would love to grow this gem of a vegetable here in the US. Can you help me?

Answer: Mandioquinha, roughly translated, is Dioscorea alata 'florido' - also known as water yam. You may not be successful in growing them at home because they are a subtropical plant that require the heat and humidity not generally available from yourcoastal climate.<br><br>But, if you're willing to try, yams mature in about 150 days. They need to be harvested before the soil temperature drops below 55 F and then need to be cured at 85 F with 90 - 95% humidity for 4 - 7 days. <br><br>It will be hard to find a source for these yams--they are generally not grown in this country. You might try J.L. Hudson, Seedsman (Star Route 2 Box 337, La Honda, CA 94020) and Exotic Tropical Plant Seeds/Southern Business Express Seeds Division, 3421 Bream St., Gautier, MS 39553.<br>

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