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«Andean roots and tubers: Ahipa, arracacha, maca and yacon M. Hermann and J. Heller, editors Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and ...»

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US). — Cruz Pamba region above Baños (ca. 15 km SW of Cuenca), 2750-3050 m, Giler & Prieto (=Camp E-3934) (BM, G, K, MO, P, UC, US). — 10 km S of Cumbe, 3000 m, Harling, Storm & Ström 8013 (GB). — Cañar: Road Biblián—Cañar Harling, Storm & Ström 8621 (GB). — Vicinity of Cañar Rose & Rose 22715 (US). — Headwaters of Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 21. 135 Río Mangán, 20-22 km ENE of Azogues, 3300 m, Fosberg & Prieto 22818 (UC, US).

– Cotopaxi: Road Toacazo-Sigchos, 3350 m, 9 July 1996, Vásconez & Vacas 11. –Road above Pilaló toward Zumbahua, 3525 m, 11 July 1996, Vásconez & Vacas 14. —Western slopes of Cordillera along road Zumbahua-Pilaló, 3400 m, 10 Nov 1996, Hermann, Vásconez & Jarrín 1471. — Pichincha: 4.5 km de San Juan de Chillogallo a lo largo de la carretera hacia la cumbre de1 Atacazo, 3500 m, 16 Dec 1990, Hermann 647. km from San Juan de Chillogallo on road toward Martinez hacienda, 3550 m, 30 Oct 1996, Hermann, Vásconez & Montalvo 1451. - Pichincha, SE slope on road to N antenna, roadside, very ashy soil, 3500-3700 m, 21 July 1982, Clemants, Boeke, Holmgren & Crisafulli 2064 (NY). - San Juan, 3500-3700 m, Fagerlind & Wibom 1557 (UC). — “Crescit in umbrosis humidis montes Pichincha” 3350 m, Jameson 281 (Sodiro 610) (Q) — Valle de Lloa (Unguí), Benoist 2709 (P). — Prov. unknown: “In coll. apric.

interand. Sanlagua”, Sodiro (2574) 609 (G). PERU. Amazonas: “A Chachapoyas orientem versus, inter Tambo Ventillas et Piscohuañuma”, 3600 m, Weberbauer 4423 (type photos: F, GH, UC, US). — Province Chachapoyas, Cerros Calla Calla, west side, 45 km above Balsas, midway on the road to Leimebamba, 3100 m, 19 June 1964, Hutchison & Wright 5748 (UC, USM, F, NY, MO). – Chachapoyas, uppermost slopes and summit of Cerros de Calla Calla, near km 403-407 of Balsas-Leimebamba road, 3400-3550 m, 18 Aug 1962, Wurdack 1718 (NY). — Ayacucho: Choimacota Valley, 3000 m, Weberbauer 7584 (F. GH, US). — Cajamarca: 3500-3800 m, Vargas 10369. — Province Hualgayoc, Hacienda Taulis, Río La Quinoa above La Playa, vining 2-3 m, streamsides, 2900 m, 4 Sep 1964, Hutchison & Von Bismarck 6506 (UC, USM, US, F, NY, MO, K, MICH). — Cusco: Province Urubamba, woods, 3000 m, Rauh & Hirsch 1049 (UC). — Huánuco: Province Pachitea, Tambo de Vaca, ca. 12,000 feet, MacBride 4456 (F, US). — La Libertad: Provincia Otuzco, Chilte, Hacienda Llaguén, en quebrada pedregosa, López 615. — Piura: In summit area on road to Canchaque, 30km above and west of Huancabamba, 3200-3300 m, vining 4 m through trees, 17

Sep 1964, Hutchison & Wright 6651 (UC, USM, US, F, NY, MO, K, MICH). — Puno:

Provincia Carabaya, entre Ayapata y Kahualluyoc, 3595-3800 m, Vargas 10747. — VENEZUELA. Mérida: La Mucuy, valle de1 río Loro, entre la estación forestal y la laguna, sobre el camino a la Laguna Coromoto, 3200 m y más, Barclay & Juajibioy 9940 (UC). - Entre las rocas de la quebrada Monte Zerpa, 2700 m, Bernardi 657 (NY).

— Distrito Libertador, Parque National Simón Bolívar, La Mucuy, formaciones leñosas al S y al E de la Laguna Coromoto, 3400 m, 22 Dec 1983, Pipoly & Aymard 6558 (NY). - Mérida, 16 Feb 1957, Bernardi s.n. (NY).

This vining species is very similar to the preceeding one in general aspect and habitat (bushy páramos), but it is of much wider distribution (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru). It also reaches higher altitudes, especially farther away from the equator as in southern Peru. Its greenish-yellow petals, acuminate leaflets, more ovoid fruits, obtuse fruit ribs as well as the lack of a pronounced fragrance set it apart from A. moschata. The woody roots are up to 2 cm thick and spread over large areas (Figs. 17 and 18).

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) Fig. 17. Herbarium specimen of Arracacia elata collected in Pichincha, Ecuador. (Loc.: 4.5 km de San Juan a lo largo de la carretera hacia la cumbre del Atacazo, 0°18’ S, 78°36’ W, 3500 m asl, 16 December 1990, vern. ‘sacha zanahoria’, Hermann 647, UC.) Scale: 10 cm.

Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 21. 137 Fig. 18. Roots of Arracacia elata (for locality and specimen, see Fig. 17). Scale: 10 cm.

138 Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) Near Quito, A. elata is a very common plant on the western slope of the Atacazo volcano between 3300 and 3550 m altitude, where it is associated with terrestrial orchids, Melastomataceae, Ericaceae, Vaccinium spp., Ottoa oenanthoides (Umbelliferae), Lycopodium, Oxalis spp., Gunnera sp., ferns and other plants that indicate high atmospheric humidity (Fig. 15). Here A. elata often trails over páramo bush and develops long shoots, often measuring 4 m and more. However, in open sites the plant assumes a bushy habit, as seen in Fig. 15, and is up to 2 m high. The plant is especially frequent in creeks and in other wet soil conditions.

6.2.1.5 Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft, Trans. Agr. Hort. Soc. Jamaica 1825: 5 (1825) Conium Arracacha Hook., Exot. Pl. pl. 152 (1825).

Arracacia esculenta DC., Bibl. Univ. Sci. & Arts 40: 78 (1829).

Bancroftia xanthorrhiza Billb. Linn. Samf. Handl. 1: 40 (1833).

Plants stout, caulescent, 0.5-l.2 m tall, minutely squamulose and scaberulous, from greatly swollen tuberous roots. Leaves broadly ovate, l-3 cm long and broad, biternate or bipinnate, the leaflets ovate-lanceolate to ovate, 4-12 cm long, 1.5-6.5 cm broad, acuminate, mucronate-serrate and coarsely incised or lobed, squamulose or scaberulous. Petioles 8-45 cm long. Cauline leaves with narrow sheaths.





Inflorescence branching, the peduncles alternate or whorled; scaberulous at apex.

Involucre 0. Rays 5-15, spreading-ascending, 1.5-4 cm long, scaberulous. Involucel of 5-8 setaceous entire bractlets 2-5 mm long. Petals purple or greenish, oval; styles slender, the stylopodium depressed. Pedicels 2-4 mm long. Carpophore 2-parted.

Fruit oblong, 10 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, constricted below apex, the ribs prominent, acute; vittae solitary in the intervals, 2 on the commissure.

List of exsiccatae of cultivated or presumably cultivated material: BOLIVIA. La Paz:

Provincia Larecaja, cultivated near Quiabaya, 55 km de Sorata hacia Consata, 3120m, 9 Sep 1989, Hermann 285,289 (NY, LPB-foliage, roots). –Provincia Camacho, Comunidad Queñe, 15 km de Mocomoco hacia Chuma, 3000 m, 13 June 1991, Hermann, Morales & García 835,836. – Sorata, 9 Jan 1958, 2697 m, Mandon 595 (GH), 22 Apr 1940, Holway & Holway 563 (US-foliage). – Sirupaya, 1800 m, 27 July 1906, Buchtien 5971 (US-foliage). – BRAZIL. São Paulo: São José do Rio Prêto, 1150 m, Hermann 800. – COLOMBIA. Antioquia: Cordillera Central, alrededores de Medellín, 1560 m, 1 May 1946, Hodge 6861 (GH). – Cauca: Popayán, Lehmann 407 (GH-flowers). – Cuesta de Tocotá, road from Buenaventura to Cali, Western Cordillera, 1500-1900 m, Pittier 714 (US). – Putumayo: Valle de Sibundoy, ca. 2250 m, 18 Feb 1942, Schultes 3267 (GH-foliage). ECUADOR. Loja: Vicinity of Las Juntas, Rose, Pachano & Rose 23215 (US-foliage). – Cultivated, West Indies to Peru, and possibly Bolivia. –Tungurahua: Ambato, 1918, Rose 38 (GH, US-photo of foliage).

–PERU. Cusco: Paruro, Hacienda Araypallpa, 3100 m, 28 July 1937, Vargas 411 (GH, CUZ). – Colinas de1 Laxaihuamán, 3600 m, Dec 1928, Herrera 858 (F). – Ollantaytambo, ca. 3000 m, 24 June 1915, Cook & Gilbert 282 (US-foliage). – San Miguel, Urubamba valley, ca. 1800 m, 26 May 1915, Cook & Gilbert 934, 935 (USPromoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 21. 139 foliage). — Cultivated in chacra of Félix Huamán Zúñiga, Nogal Niyoc, Provincia de Calca, 22 km de Paucarpata hacia Colca, 2050 m, 23 Sep 1990, Hermann, Cruz & Meza 546,547,549 (NY, MOL-foliage, roots).

List of exsiccatae of recently collected wild material (identified by L. Constance):

ECUADOR. Chimborazo: Cantón Colta, 30 minutos a pie desde Cañihacia Corralpamba, 11 May 1994, Tapia & Cazar 43 (UC). — 8 km from Capzol toward

Huigra, 1600 m, 17 May 1996, Hermann & Santos 1410 (UC). — PERU. Cusco:

Provincia Cusco, bajando de Fierroccata hacia la Granja K’ayra, 3300-3400 m, 12-13 Feb 1991, Hermann 747, Hermann & Cruz 749,750 (UC, MOL). — Ak’o Moqo, Granja K’ayra, San Jerónimo, camino a Paruro, 3500 m, 10 Dee 1990, Cruz 108 (MOL). — Provincia Anta, 22 km de Ancahuasi hacia Limatambo, 2900-3100 m, 14 Feb 1991, Hermann, Cortés & Alvarez 764 (UC, MOL).

This species is the cultivated arracacha. It is grown all across the Andes (except Argentina) and some mountain ranges in Central America, the Caribbean and southeastern Brazil (Hermann 1991, 1995). According to Friedberg (1978), arracacha is the only umbelliferous domesticate in Peru; no other native umbellifer has been domesticated or used for aromatic properties in this country.

Herbarium specimens used to describe the species are notoriously insufficient, and published descriptions are correspondingly inadequate (Constance 1949).

Arracacha is vegetatively propagated and rarely flowers in the Andes, so most herbarium specimens are sterile. None of the older material used by systematists is unquestionably from the wild (see list of exsiccatae) and the species has so far been known only from cultivated material.

The specific epithet xanthorrhiza is Greek for ‘yellow-rooted’ and thus refers to the clones with yellow to yellowish orange flesh preferred in most countries.

However, arracacha also has white or ivory-coloured roots; sometimes these show purplish variegations in the tissue surrounding the vascular bundles. Notably, Arracacia species with close affinities to arracacha (A. andina, A. equatorialis) have white roots only.

Undoubtedly wild collections identified by L. Constance as A. xanthorrhiza were only recently made, both in Peru and Ecuador. The Peruvian material (vouchers Hermann 747; Hermann & Cruz 749,750; Cruz 10; Hermann, Cortés & Alvarez 764) comes from two provinces in the department of Cusco (Cusco and Anta), where it is locally abundant between 2900 and 3500 m altitude in open or disturbed sites (Figs. 19 and20).

Local people refer to this material in their native tongue (Quechua) as k’ita racacha, k’ita virraca (= wild arracacha) or orko racacha (= mountain arracacha, = high-altitude arracacha). I have grown this plant from original seed in Quito greenhouses and it has invariably shown its biennial nature. After initial slow development, the plant grows into a simple herb with basal leaves that emerge from a rootstock. After about 7-9 months of vegetative growth, true senescence sets in, that is, the leaves will die even under favourable growth conditions. The storage roots are about 4 cm thick 140 Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) Fig. 19. Herbarium specimen of wild Arracacia xanthorrhiza collected in Cusco, Peru. (Lot.: Provincia Anta, 22 km de Ancahuasi hacia Limatambo, 13°28’ S, 72°23’ W, 2900-3100 m asl, Hermann, Cortés & Alvarez 764, MOL, UC.) Scale: 10 cm. This species is the same as vouchers Hermann 747, 749, 750 and Cruz 108 from Granja K’ayra, San Jeronimo, near Cusco. In Quechua, this biennial species is referred to as k’ita racacha (= wild arracacha) or orko racacha (= mountain arracacha, = highaltitude arracacha). Its tuberous and fetid roots are 4 cm thick and 10-20 cm long (see Fig. 21).

Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops, 21. 141 Fig. 20. Leaf of wild Arracacia xanthorrhiza (for locality and specimen, see Fig. 19). Scale: 10 cm.

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) and up to 20 cm long (Fig. 21). Following root dormancy of about 2-3 months, a vigorous generative shoot with several umbels appears from the rootstock and flowers for several months. Then the whole plant, including the rootstock, eventually dies.

The tuberous roots are yellowish and are said to be fed to pigs. However, they have a strong flavour and remain astringent after cooking. As in cultivated arracacha, but to a much higher extent, numerous vessels in the cortex contain an aromatic resin. It is hard to imagine how prehistoric people would have used the root for food, perhaps by roasting it in hot ashes to get rid of the outer and fetid cortex. Unless populations of this variant of A. xanthorrhiza with more palatable roots are found, it is unlikely the wild ancestor of the cultivated arracacha. Also its biennial character and the occurrence of this wild species at high altitudes set it apart from cultivated arracacha. Neither Herrera in his Sinopsis de la Flora de1 Cusco (1941) nor

–  –  –

Weberbauer in his classic monograph on the Peruvian flora mention this species (Weberbauer 1911). Because of its absence (or dearth) in herbaria, we must conclude that this material is rarer than the situation in Cusco would suggest.

A more likely candidate for the ancestral race from which arracacha might have been domesticated was recently found near Cañi, Chimborazo, Ecuador (voucher Tapia & Cazar 43). This material was identified by Dr Constance as A: xanthorrhiza.

Material with identical root and fruit characteristics is now also available from Huigra and Sibambe in Chimborazo Province (Hermann & Santos 1410), and from Bolívar Province. Specimens from the Huigra and Sibambe populations (vouchers Asplund 15452, Fosberg & Giller 22581), however, have previously been assigned to Arracacia andina (Mathias and Constance 1976). This illustrates the difficulty of differentiating A. andina from A. xanthorrhiza. Indeed, Dr Constance, in a pers. comm. to me (1995), wrote: “Since publication of the Flora of Ecuador, I concluded that Arracucia andina Rusby is too similar to A. xanthorrhiza Bancroft to be regarded as specifically distinct”.

Figure 22 shows a herbarium voucher of the recently made collection from the Sibambe-Huigra population (Hermann & Santos 1410). This population is distributed between 1450 and 2500 m altitude in the canyons of the Chanchán River and its affluent Río Sibambe. Near Chanchán, at 1600 m altitude, it is a frequent plant on road banks or other disturbed sites with sandy or stony soils of high alkalinity (pH = 8-8.8).

Annual rainfall is around 500 mm, of which only 100 mm falls during the dry season from June to November. The resulting xerophytic vegetation (Fig. 23A) is classified as ‘monte espinoso pre-montano’ in the modified Holdridge system (Cañadas 1983).



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