Smallanthus connatus is a close relative of yacon, more commonly known in South America as yacon gaucho. It may be useful in yacon breeding but is not really itself an edible plant. It has been used as a medicinal, so it doesn’t appear to be dangerous to consume in small amounts, but I don’t think anybody has really tested it. Unlike yacon, it does not make storage tubers. It makes a large cluster of thickened roots, much like yacon produces before they begin to bulk up. S. connatus looks very similar to yacon, but flowers earlier. It may be of interest as an ornamental. Climate tolerance is similar to yacon, but it is more difficult to store over winter, since it does not produce crowns in the same way as yacon. Seeds germinate at better than 50% when sown as we describe for yacon. It is unknown whether crosses between this species and yacon are possible, but I hope to find out soon.
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