Pachyrhizus erosus, Pachyrhizus tuberosus.
Pachyrhizus angulatus Rich. Leguminosae.
Tropical Asia, Central America, the East and West Indies, Mauritius and Fiji Islands. The root, a single turnip-formed tuber, when young, is eaten, both raw and boiled, by the inhabitants of India and the Mauritius. Its coarse roots furnish food to the poor in China, when boiled, or when dried, and pounded into a flour. In the Malay Archipelago, the plant produces a large, edible, tuberous root. The Fiji Islanders, who call the plant yaka or wayaka, obtain a tough fiber from the stems, with which they make fishing nets. In China and Cochin China, where it is cultivated, the tubers, which are cylindrical and about two feet long, are eaten boiled as yams are, Smith says the tubers are eaten but are deleterious if not thoroughly cooked. A kind of arrowroot is made from the root in some places. The roots are eaten in Viti. Seemann says they are of a dirty white color when cooked and have a slightly starchy, insipid flavor.
Pachyrhizus tuberosus Spreng. Potato Bean.
West Indies. The plant has large, tuberous roots, which, as well as the seeds, serve as food. It is called yalai by the people of New Caledonia, and the roots are roasted and eaten.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.