Upon checking in on the seedling babies this morning, the jicimas are the biggest. We do not grow many of them, but they work really well in 5 gallon bucket containers in our roof garden, so we grow a few.
Jicamas (Pachyrhizus erosus) are a root vegetable native to the Americas. They have a cool refreshing crisp taste that is wonderful in salads or as the base of a cooling summer salad.
Although they require a long growing season, folks say, 9 months, we have had great luck with them on the hot sunny roof and think they grow fine in our area (zone 7b now, we had been zone 7a)
Jicamas are a vine with pretty purple flower, but do NOT eat the flowers, leaves or seed pods as they are toxic ! It amazes me how such a yummy root can come from a plants where I cannot eat the rest.
After the plants get to be a few feet long, around three feet or so, you can trim them so they are bushier if you like. We do not tend to do this, since we are growing them on the roof and not up there looking at them all the time, we want maximum energy to go into root production.
Who has seeds:
Bountiful Gardens: http://www.bountifulgardens.org/products.asp?dept=43
John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds: http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com/cgi-bin/catview.cgi?_fn=Product&_category=131
Both have signed the Safe Seed Pledge !