Yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

The name derives from the Quechua word yaku, alluding to the high water content of its storage roots. The original habitat is the Andean highlands, from southern Colombia to northern Argentina, between 1800 and 2800 masl. Currently, yacon is grown in Brazil, Korea, Japan, Czech Republic, Philippines, Taiwan, New Zealand and China. Storage roots are harvested 7-8 months after planting and are valued because the roots contain fructooligosaccharides, a sugar which is not metabolized by human body, but aids in the growth of beneficial intestinal flora (prebiotic effect).