Yacon (smallanthus Sonchifolius) Plant.jpg
Purple Earth Apple (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Purple Earth Apple (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Regular price $12.95

Earth Apple, also known as Yacon or Purple Earth Apple, is a member of the daisy and sunflower family of plants.  Yacon is native to South America, specifically the regions of the Andes mountains spanning from Colombia all the way into Northern Argentina. Yacon is a perennial flowering plant that produces a large, branching tuberous root system. These tuberous roots exist just below the surface of the soil, and are attached to a rhizome.

The roots are edible, and are cultivated for their pleasant flavor, that has been described as sweet and floral, resembling a blend of watermelon, apple, and pear. Yacon is becoming more popular as people become aware of it's medicinal and nutritional value. It is quickly becoming popular as a super vegetable!

Important Shipping Information

We ship nationwide year-round to the United States and Canada with 100% plastic-free compostable shipping materials.  Plants ship ready-to-plant in 4" coconut coir pots or 1-3 gal burlap grow bags.

Shipping & Handing Cost
Shipping will be calculated at checkout and varies based on your order weight and your distance from the nursery. Shipping is combined for multiple plants. The more you grow, the more you save!  Live locally and want to save on shipping?  See our Local Pickup option below.

Order Processing & Shipping Schedule
Orders are processed at the beginning of each week and ship on Tuesday-Thursday via 1-3 Day USPS Priority Mail.  Average order processing time before shipment averages from 1-14 days. 

Shipping Confirmation & Delivery Confirmation 
We will automatically send you a Shipping Confirmation Email with tracking information when your order's shipping label or labels are created and your order is processed.  We will also automatically send you a Delivery Confirmation Email the moment your order is delivered so you know exactly when to go out and collect it!

Tracking Your Order
You can track the progress of your order online and sign up for step-by-step tracking alters via your Order Status Page, USPS Tracking Page, or the Arrive App.

A link to your Order Status page is automatically sent to you in your Order Confirmation email.  You can also track your order via the USPS tracking page (a link to that is sent in your shipping confirmation email).  Another way to track your order status is with the Arrive App, which can be downloaded on your Order Status Page. 

Heat Packs & Cold Weather Holds

Heat Packs
Heat Packs can be purchased separately and are necessary for orders shipping to cold climates under 32 degrees. Visit our Heat Packs page to learn more and purchase your heat pack. 

Weather Holds
If you prefer not to ship your order with a Heat Pack and would like to request a custom winter weather hold until your preferred arrival date, please email shipping@sowexotic.com.  

Local Pickup at the Nursery

Online orders can also be picked up at the Sow Exotic Nursery in Winter Haven, Florida. To place an order for Local Pickup, enter LOCALPICKUP into the discount section at checkout. Visit our Local Pickup page to learn more.

Shipping to Hawaii & Puerto Rico

Plants ship bare root to Hawaii & Puerto Rico. Due to USDA restrictions, here's the list of plants that don't make the cut. Plants that DO NOT ship to Puerto Rico: Coffee, Palm, and Banana plants.  Plants that DO NOT ship to Hawaii:
Pineapple, Palm, Papaya, Coffee, Banana, and Passion Fruit plants.

For more frequently asked questions visit our Help Center.

Plant Care

Plant Type: Rhyzomatous Perennial Herb

Harvest Season: Roots should be harvested in late-Fall through early-Winter. 

Size: About 3 ft tall and wide

Soil & Moisture: Rich, moist, well-draining soil

Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Zones

Climate Zones: USDA plant hardiness, Perennial Zones 7-9 Can be grown as an annual Zones 4+

Patio Planting Zones: 4+

All of our tropical fruiting plants can be grown in small or large containers in northern zones or planted outside in warmer climates.

History & Traditional Use

Traditionally, Yacon was grown by farmers in the Andes as a nourishment crop for when they were working in the fields. Yacon easily grew in these areas, and they would utilize the sweet and succulent tubers to refresh themselves while taking a break from work. However, recent research is starting to indicate that Yacon is also a powerful anti-hyperglycemic, and naturally regulates blood sugar levels. This is due to the presence of fructooligosaccharides, which are a type of naturally occurring compounds called fructans. Fructans are made of a sugar called fructose and help the tuberous roots of Yacon from drying out. These so called fructooligosaccharides are found in other plants, but Yacon produces more FOS than any other plant!  

Recent research is showing that FOS has several beneficial effects that cascade from its role in the gastro-intestinal system. FOS creates helpful probiotic bacteria in the gut and colon. FOS also helps in reducing glucose levels- a risk factor for diabetes. In the Andes region where Yacon is grown, it has long been recognized that the plant is an effective herbal remedy for the treatment of diabetes. 

It is important to note that one of the main plant constituents that contribute to the unique flavor of Purple Earth Apple is the compound Inulin. This compound is found in other plants, such as Elecampane, and is also partially responsible for the medicinal effects of the plant.