Smallanthus sonchifolius

Smallanthus sonchifolius


  • Botanical name: Smallanthus sonchifolius
  • Common name: Yacon
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Plant Type: Vegetable

Yacon, Smallanthus sonchifolius, is a perennial tuberous vegetable, forming potato-like underground tubers with a distinct sweet flavour, not dissimilar to a pear, and a texture akin to water chestnut. 


Grow Smallanthus sonchifolius in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Lift the tubers for harvesting in autumn. Perennial but not fully hardy, it’s possible to save the crowns of to replant in spring – simply cut the plants back to around 10cm long and store the crowns as dahlias, covered in damp compost in a cool frost-free place where they won’t dry out. 

How to grow Smallanthus sonchifolius

  • Plant size

    2m height

    50cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December


Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do not Harvest in March

Do not Harvest in April

Do not Harvest in May

Do not Harvest in June

Do not Harvest in July

Do not Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do Harvest in October

Do Harvest in November

Do not Harvest in December

Smallanthus sonchifolius and wildlife

Smallanthus sonchifolius has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Smallanthus sonchifolius poisonous?

Smallanthus sonchifolius has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People