Latin name: Pachyrhizus ahipa
Synonyms: Dolichos ahipa, Pachyrrhizus ahipa
Edible parts of Ahipa:Root - raw or cooked. Thirst quenching and nutritious with an easily digested starch. The root is slow to discolour and remains crisp after slicing so it is often used in green and in fruit salads. Young seed pods - cooked and used like French beans. The pods must be thoroughly cooked in order to remove the toxic principle rotenone. It is thought that some varieties might be free of rotenone and their mature seeds could therefore be used as a protein crop.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Not known in a truly wild situation.
Other uses of Ahipa:The plant contains rotenone, the active ingredient in the insecticide "derris", and it has the potential to be used as an insecticide. Derris is a relatively safe insecticide in that it does not affect warm-blooded animals and also breaks down into harmless substances with 24 hours of being used. It does, however, kill some beneficial insects and is also toxic to fish and amphibians.
Propagation of the herb:Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of rich soil and grow them on fast. Plant them out after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection, such as a cloche, until they are growing away well. Division of the root tubers in the autumn. Store the roots in a cool but frost-free place over the winter, planting them into pots in the greenhouse in early spring and planting them out after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection, such as a cloche, until they are growing away well. Cuttings.
Cultivation of Ahipa:Not known in a truly wild situation.
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Pachyrhizus ahipa:The seed and green parts of the plant contain an insecticide (probably rotenone) and might be poisonous to people.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.