«Andean roots and tubers: Ahipa, arracacha, maca and yacon M. Hermann and J. Heller, editors Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and ...»
It is characterized by thorny bushes, Agave, Opuntia and some columnar cacti. Wild crop relatives of this vegetation include Cyclnthera, Phaseolus vulgaris and Psidium.
In the cantons of San Miguel and Guaranda in Bolívar province, the plant can be found in moister habitats and soils of neutral or slightly acid pH (6-7).
This Arracacia species has a striking similarity with cultivated arracacha in terms of morphology (root, leaf and generative characters), life form (perennial) and altitudinal distribution, yet it is sufficiently distinct to be recognized as wild as opposed to merely escaped from cultivation. Local informants interviewed in villages in Chimborazo and Bolívar, especially women, recognized it as a medicinal, the roots or leaves of which are commonly employed in potions to induce post partum placental elimination, in both humans and domestic animals.
In May 1996, this wild arracacha was found above Chanchán in a variety of growth stages ranging from single-leaved seedling plants left from the preceding rainy season to juvenile-vegetative and to mature-generative plants with tubers weighing up to 3 kg, the latter presumably being several years old (Fig. 23C). The seedling forms a thick taproot from which, in the juvenile plant, several tuberous roots emerge. These swell into storage roots which taper up to 1 m in length and can be up to 8 cm thick at their base. These are difficult to recover entirely as they break easily. Apparently, taproots and storage roots are perennial as is the plant. As in cultivated arracacha, a ‘crown’ of cormel-like structures develops on top of the taproot (Fig. 23D). The cormels are not as pronounced as in cultivated arracacha, 144 Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) Fig. 22. Herbarium specimen of wild Arracacia xanthorrhiza collected in Chimborazo, Ecuador.
(Loc.: Cantón Chunchi, on road Capzol-Huigra, 3 km before train station of Chanchán, 17 May 1996, vern. ‘sacha zanahoria’, 2°16’33.7” S, 78°56’56.2” W, 1600 m asl, Hermann & Santos 1410, UC.) Scale: 10 cm.
Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 21. 145 Fig. 23. Collecting site and storage root of Arracacia xanthorrhiza voucher Hermann & Santos 1410. (Loc.: Ecuador, Cantón Chunchi, on road Capzol-Huigra, 3 km before train station of Chanchán, 2°16’33.7"S, 78°56’56.2”W, 1600 m asl) A: collecting site on road bank, note dry bush (‘estepa espinosa montano bajo’); B: juvenile (vegetative) plants; C: typical storage roots weighing 1-3 kg per plant; D: crown of rootstock from which the plant regenerates in the rainy season (trace drawing indicates scars left from generative shoots) (Photographs: May 1996).
Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) but rather are depressed and rise only to the soil surface. The cormel is homologous to the propagule in cultivated arracacha, which is called colino or hijuelo in Spanish.
It is a solid stem structure, consisting of starchy storage parenchyma, but it has distinct internodes and nodes at which the leaves are inserted. Some of the otherwise vegetative corms develop generative stalks, as indicated by the trace drawing (Fig. 23D), which emphasizes scars left by such stalks. Leaf shape-and generative characters, such as flower and fruit morphology, as well as seed fragrance are very similar to those of cultivated arracacha.
The cooked root is fibrous, but it has a bland, slightly sweet and umbelliferous taste. The content of physically extractable starch is 14-16% of the fresh root weight.
Although not as pleasant to eat as cultivated arracacha (the flesh remains firm after extended cooking and is more fibrous), this wild arracacha does not have the astringent principles of the Peruvian material described above, and it would therefore have made an attractive caloric food source for prehistoric gatherers. The plant can easily be spotted because of its conspicuous generative shoots, which are up to 1.5 m high, and, as a rule of thumb, the larger ones are associated with bigger roots.
Equipped with a digging tool, a person can harvest 10-20 kg of roots in half an hour in abundant plant populations. Human intervention might have been beneficial to maintaining or even increasing plant populations as seeds shed from harvested plants would have germinated in freshly disturbed sites, where the plant occurs naturally.
Thus early people might have unconsciously maintained populations for sustainable exploitation. Such people would probably not have used the crowns, which trap dead leaves and soil and account for only 10% of total root weight. Presumably, the crown would have been discarded during food preparation. It may have sprouted on garbage heaps, thus eventually leading to the discovery of the most convenient propagation method, which is the replanting of the crown or parts of it.
To my knowledge, the Huigra-Sibambe population is an entity that resembles cultivated arracacha more than any other wild Arracacia germplasm described so far.
It might offer potential for introgressing drought resistance, desiccation resistance of the roots and improved dry-matter partitioning (into the storage roots versus the crown) into the cultivated background. Future explorations should concentrate on mesothermic and periodically dry valleys adjacent to Chimborazo and Bolivar. Such habitats occur across the northern and central Andes, and the Arracacia germplasm in question here might well extend northward into southern Colombia and southward into Peru. In this context, a brief mention of wild arracacha used as emergency food and for “helping women with childbirth” in Cajamarca (adjacent to Ecuador) is most noteworthy (Seminario 1995).
220.127.116.11 Arracacia andina Britton, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 18: 37 (1908). Fig. 4 Plants stout, caulescent, 0.3-1.0 m tall, the foliage and inflorescence minutely squamulose or scaberulous, from a tuberous base. Leaves triangular-ovate to ovate, l0-30 cm long, 15-30 cm broad, 1-2-pinnate, the leaflets lanceolate to ovate, acute to acuminate, 2-10 cm long, l-5 cm broad, mucronate-serrate and usually shallowly Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 21. 147 incised or lobed, sparsely squamulose to hispidulous. Petioles 15-35 cm long. Cauline leaves with moderately inflated sheaths. Inflorescence branching, the peduncles usually whorled, scaberulous at apex. Involucre usually 0. Rays 8-25, slender, spreading-ascending, 2-8 cm long, scaberulous. Involucel of 6-9 linear entire bractlets 2-9 mm long. Petals purple, obovate; styles slender, the stylopodium depressed.
Pedicels 2-10 mm long. Carpophore 2-parted. Fruit ovoid, 6-11 mm long, 4-5 mm broad, obtuse, the ribs very prominent, acute; vittae l-3 in the intervals, 4-6 on the commissure.
List of exsiccatae: BOLIVIA. “Plantae Bolivianae”, Bang 2839 (F, GH, MO, NY, US).
- Ingenio de1 Ovo, Rusby 776 (F, NY-TYPE, US). — ECUADOR. — Cañar: Between Tambo and Suscal, valley of Río Cañar, 2000-3000 m, Camp E-2778 (UC). — Chimborazo: Sibambe, canyon of Río Sibambe, affl. of Río Chanchan, 2460-2550 m, 28 Jan 1945, Fosberg & Giller 22581 (NY, UC, US). — Huigra, Asplund 15452 (S). — Cañar: Between Tambo and Suscal, valley of Río Cañar, 2000-3000 m, Camp E-2778 (UC). — PERU. Cajamarca: Sagástegui & Mostacero 9124 (MO) (specimen cited in Brako and Zarucchi 1993).
Constance maintained this as a separate species on the basis of its broader leaflets and fruit characteristics (Constance 1949), which differentiate it from its closest relative A. xanthorrhiza. However, the similarities between the two species have been discussed in the foregoing account. Perhaps what has to date been considered A. andina is the wild arracacha. Only a revision and more comprehensive material will show whether this entity is conspecific with A. xanthorrhiza, in which case the binomial A. andina would have to be reduced to synonymy.
18.104.22.168 Arracacia equatorialis Constance, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 76: 46 (1949) Plants slender, caulescent, 0.4-0.8 m tall, the foliage somewhat squamulose, from tuberous roots. Leaves triangular-ovate, 6-30 cm long, 7-18 cm broad, biternate or bipinnate, the leaflets ovate to lanceolate, 2-8 cm long, 0.5-3 cm broad, acute or acuminate, mucronate-serrate and usually deeply incised or lobed, squamulose to glabrate. Petioles 10-20 cm long. Cauline leaves with scarious, strongly inflated sheaths. Inflorescence branching, the peduncles usually whorled. Involucre usually
0. Rays 6-15, slender, ascending, 1.5-4 cm long, scaberulous. Involucel of 3-6 ovateacuminate entire narrowly scarious-margined bractlets 2-6 mm long. Petals purple, obovate; styles slender, the stylopodium depressed. Pedicels 2-5 mm long.
Carpophore 2-parted. Fruit ovoid-oblong, 7-9 mm long, 3-4 mm broad, obtuse, the ribs filiform, acute; vittae solitary in the intervals, 2 on the commissure.
List of exsiccatae: ECUADOR. Azuay: Cantón Cuenca, parroquia San Joaquín, barrio Parabón, 1 km W de la carretera, Tapia & Velásquez 58. — Cantón Cuenca, parroquia Cumbe, 28.6 km on road Cuenca-Saraguro, 3000 m, Tapia & Velásquez 133 — 2 km N from Chordeleg on slopes of river bed on left side of road to Cuenca, 2335 m, 7 Aug 1996, Vásconez & Montalvo 16 — Loja: Vicinity of Las Juntas, Rose, Pachano & Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancroft) Rose 23215 (US, holotype; GH, NY). —S. Pedro-Chinchas (ca. 55 km W of Loja), 1600 m, 1 Mar 1947, Espinosa 1305 (UC). —Cantón Loja, parroquia San Lucas, loc. Bucashi, a 46 km de la via Loja-Cuenca, 16 Feb 1992, Tapia & Velásquez 51. — Cantón Loja, 7 km on old road Loja-Catamayo, 3000 m, Tapia & Velásquez 140 — Above San Pedro de Vilcabamba, 2000 m, Feb 1995, Herrmann 1573. — PERU. — Apurímac: Provincia Andahuaylas, quebrada Posoconi, 2650 m, Vargas 8795. — Cusco: San Sebastian, grassy place on summit of bluff, 3300-3400 m, Pennell 13628. Prov. Cusco, Cerro Sape, frente a Sacsahuamán, cerca a la ciudad de Cusco, 3400 m, Ferreyra 2675. Prov. Paruro, Araypallpa, 3100 m, Vargas 411. — Junín: Prov. Tarma, Huasahuasi, Ruiz & Pavón, Fig. 24. Leaf variation of Arracacia andina (upper row) and Arracacia equatorialis (lower row).
Herbarium specimens in upper row from left to right: Hermann 1523 (Bolivar), Vásconez & Velasco 4 (Bolivar), Hermann 1522 (Chimborazo), Vásconez & Velasco 1 (Chimborazo). Herbarium specimens in lower row from left to right: Vásconez & Montalvo 17 (Loja), Hermann 1543 (Loja), Hermann 1573 (Loja), Hermann 1520 (Azuay). All specimens from Ecuador. Scale: 30 cm.
Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 21. 149 — Entre Palca y Huacapistana, 2400-2700 m, Weberbauer 1745 — Entre Palca y Carpapata, 2500 m, Cerrate 929 — Carpapata, 2500 m, Cerrate 2806 — Quebrada pedregosa, 2300-2500 m, López 802 — Huacapistana, Valle de Tarma, 2400 m, Velarde 722 — Chanchamayo, Isern (Cuatrecasas 2417) — Prov. Huancayo, Huancayo, alrededores, Soukup 3579.
This species is known from southern Ecuador and Peru. It has high overall resemblance with A. xanthorrhiza and A. andina but has been maintained as a separate species because of differences in its fruit, leaf, involucel and oil tube characters (Constance 1949; Mathias and Constance 1976). Also the gracile growth habit and the highly dissected leaf sets the species apart from both A. xanthorrhiza and A. andina (see Fig. 24). I have observed material from Azuay (Vásconez & Montalvo 16) and from Loja (Hermann 1573), southern Ecuador (Fig. 25). The storage roots (diameter up to 3 cm) are smaller than those of A. xanthorrhiza or A. andina;
however, the skin of the roots of this material is very thin and easily rubbed off in
contrast to the paper-like skin of A. andina which can be peeled off entirely. This feature and proximal constrictions of the roots (the ‘necks’ that connect them to the rootstock) suggest close affinity of A. equatorialis with cultivated arracacha.
There is probably too little material available to decide whether A. equatorialis merits species status and what its biosystematic relations with other Arracacia species are.
22.214.171.124 Arracacia incisa Wolff, Bot. Jahrb. 40: 305. 1908 Stout, caulescent, branching, 0.3-1.2 m high, the foliage squamulose; leaves triangular-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 10-25 cm long, ternate-pinnate or bipinnate, the leaflets triangular-ovate to ovate-oblong, acute, cuneate or truncate at base, the lower distinct and short-petiolulate, the upper sessile and the larger pinnately incised, squamulose on margins and along veins on both surfaces, the lower surface paler and reticulate, a squamulose tuft on the upper side of the sulcate rachis at the base of the larger leaflets; petioles 8-16 cm long, narrowly sheathing at base, the sheaths scaberulous on the veins; cauline leaves with wholly sheathing, inconspicuously inflated petioles; inflorescence branching, the peduncles arising axially and terminally, 2-12 cm long, squamulose at apex;
involucre wanting, or of 1 or 2 sheathing bracts; fertile rays 4-8, stout, spreadingascending, 1-4 cm long, scaberulous at least at apex; involucel of 4-8 obovate to lanceolate, scarious, denticulate-margined, unequal bractlets, 5-10 mm long, the green central portion projecting as an acuminate point, exceeding flowers but shorter than fruit; fertile pedicels 2-6, stout, spreading, usually 2-5 mm long, scaberulous; flowers dark purple or greenish, the petals obovate; stylopodium depressed, the styles slender, divaricate; carpophore 2-parted to base, lax; fruit ovoid, 5-8 mm long, 3.5-6 mm broad, the ribs very prominent and corky, acute;
vittae small, 2-3 in the intervals, 3-6 on the commissure, frequently some accessory ones under the ribs or in the intervals; seed scarcely channeled under the intervals, the face deeply sulcate.
List of exsiccatae: PERU. Ancash: Prov. Bolognesi, Capillapunta, Cerro al Sur de Chiquián, 3560 m, Ferreyra 5712, Cerrate 155. — Cusco: Prov. Paucartambo, Paucartambo Valley, Hacienda Churu, 3500 m, Herrera 1391 — Kencumayo 3300 m, Woytkowski 199 — Prov. Cusco, Cusco, Rose & Rose 19034. — Huánuco: Prov.