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Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urb.

Family Name: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common Name: Bang Kwang, Bangkuang, Jicama, Mexican Turnip, Sengkuang, Yam Bean
Full Sun Moderate Water Fruit or Vegetable Climber, Vine and Liana


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Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana


Native Distribution Mexico, Central America

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Vine up to 5 m long.
Foliage Trifoliate, compound leaves with large, stingray-shaped leaflets.
Flowers Purple and white, pea-shaped flowers.
Cultivation It grows best in moist, but well-drained soil. Allow the plants to grow for at least 5 months in order to obtain 5-16 cm wide tubers.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Storage Organs)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The round storage tuber has a crisp, sweet taste and is eaten raw or cooked in stir-fries and soups. It is low in calories, but high in fiber and vitamin C. The skin of the tuber must be removed before consumption because it contains toxic compounds. The seeds, flowers and leaves also contain toxins. In Singapore, it is eaten raw in Rojak by mixing it with ground peanuts and Rojak sauce. It is also stir-fried and then simmered for use as filling in Popiah and Kueh Pie Ti. In Mexico, it is popular to eat Jicama slices with lime juice, salt and chili powder.  The ideal storage temperature for tubers is about 15 degrees Celsius. )

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple

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Master ID 32613
Species ID 7025
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 22 June 2022.