New Zealand yam facts

New Zealand Yam is cultivated as potato but its tubers are smaller and are from a family called Oxalis. New Zealand yam is second in agricultural importance after potato. It is a great source of phosphorus, carbohydrates, iron, amino acids which enhance the health, functions of muscles, nails, organs, skin and hair.

Name New Zealand Yam
Scientific Name Oxalis tuberosa Molina
Native Andes in South America
Common/English Name Kao, Oka, Oca, Papa Roja, New Zealand Yam, Quiba Yam
Name in Other Languages Arabic: Hhummâd,
Argentina: Miquichi,
Aymara: Apilla,
Bolivia: Apilla,
Brazil: Batata-Baroa,
Chile: Cubia,
Columbia: Huasisai,
Danish: Oka,
Dutch: Peruaanse Klaverzuring,
Ecuador: Oca,
Finnish: Oka,
French: Oca D’amérique,
German: Oka,
Italian: Trifoglio Tuberose,
Mexico: Papa Extranjera,
New Zealand: Yam,
Peru: Oqa,
Polynesia: Yam,
Quechuan: Okka,
Spanish: Cubio,
Swedish: Oca,
Turkish: Yabani Kuzu Kulagi,
Venezuela: Ciuva
Plant Growth Habit Compact, perennial, tuberous, herbaceous
Growing Climate Subtropical or tropical
Plant Size 20 to 30 cm high
Stem Cylindrical, succulent, yellow, green-purplish red; Height: 25 cm (10 inch)
Leaf Trifoliate, heart-shaped, clover like, green
Flowering Season August, September
Flower Tristylous, yellow
Tuber shape & size Claviform to ellipsoid or cylindrical; Length: 3-15 cm; Width: 3 cm
Tuber color White, red, yellow, purple
Flesh color White, yellow, cream, pink, orange, red, purple
Tuber peel Shiny, waxy, crinkled
Major Nutritions Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.22 mg (16.92%)
Vitamin A, RAE 86.69 µg (12.38%)
Carbohydrate 12.49 g (9.61%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.12 mg (9.23%)
Potassium, K 361.27 mg (7.69%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.06 mg (5.00%)
Iron, Fe 0.33 mg (4.13%)
Total dietary Fiber 1.14 g (3.00%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.41 mg (2.56%)
Protein 1.16 g (2.32%)
Health Benefits
  • Brain function
  • Enzymes
  • Assist vision
  • Enhance immunity
  • Treats anemia
  • Bone health
  • Maintain blood pressure
  • Assist RBC production
  • Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cardiovascular health
Calories in 135 g 60 Kcal.
How to Eat
  • The tubers are boiled, roasted, baked and fried.
  • The tubers are also added to salads, stews, soups or also pickled in vinegar.
  • In the Andes, the genotypes are consumed raw.
  • In Mexico, New Zealand yam is sprinkled with lemon, salt and hot pepper.
  • In the Andes, New Zealand yam is sun dried and parboiled, roasted and prepared as pachamanca.
  • The flour is used to make desserts and porridges.
  • The tubers are used as a quality starch for alcohol or food industry.
  • Young shoots and leaves are consumed as green vegetable.
  • Matured stems are used as rhubarb.
  • New Zealand yams are baked and microwaved with lemon juice, butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • New Zealand yams are roasted and added to the potato wedges.
  • The crispy sliced yams are great in the stir fries.
  • A yam goes well with ginger, orange, sweet or sour type sauces.
  • They are added to winter stews and soups.
  • The fresh leaves add a bit of flavor to a green salad.
  • The leaves are the perfect substitute for a sorrel.
  • Sun dried yams are consumed as dried figs or stewed as a fruit.
  • The leaves and flowers are added to salads.




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