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Seeds of Trade

 
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Product: Cassava

Other products:  
   Cassava belongs to the category Food crops
   and originated in The Americas

 SUMMARY
 WILD RELATIVES
 ORIGINS
 EARLY USES
 TRANSFER AND SPREAD
 AGRICULTURE
 MODERN CONTEXT
  POST HARVEST


CASSAVA (Manioc, Mandiocca, Yuca)

Manihot esculenta Crantz (Euphorbiaceae).

Given its scientific name in 1766, by Heinrich Crantz using paintings made in Surinam in the early eighteenth century by the Dutch artist Maria Sibylla Merian. Carolus Linnaeus described cassava in 1753, but under the name Jatropha manihot.

Originally from South America, not known in a pure wild state.

Life form: perennial herb, grows easily from stem cuttings.

Parts used: large starchy tubers are edible (some types have high poison content and need careful preparation) and are used as a source of commercial starch. Leaves are edible after boiling.

Ploidy level: diploid.

  

Specimen from the Sloane Herbarium at the Natural History Museum, London (Manihot esculenta Crantz - Cassava)