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Jicama -- Yam Bean



Scientific classification

Pachyrhizus ahipa
Pachyrhizus erosus
Pachyrhizus ferrugineus
Pachyrhizus panamensis
Pachyrhizus tuberosus
Ref: ILDIS Version 6.05 (


The jicama or yam bean is a leguminous plant that is grown for its large (10-15 cm diameter) edible taproot. After removal of the thick, fibrous brown skin, the white flesh of the root can be eaten cooked or raw. Crisp, moist, and slightly sweet, the flesh draws comparison with that of the apple.

The jicama can be prepared in the same way as the apple or the potato.

By contrast to the root, the remainder of the plant is very poisonous. In particular, the rotenone-containing seeds have been used to catch fish by poisoning.

The jicama grows in frost-free climates. Native to tropical America, it is now widely known in warmer parts of China and Southeast Asia as well.


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