Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Basellaceae
Genus: Ullucus
Species: U. tuberosus
Binomial name
Ullucus tuberosus
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 74.4 kcal (311 kJ)
15.3 g
Dietary fiber 0.9 g
0.1 g
2.6 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: Cultivariable[1]
Ulluco tubers in New Zealand

Ullucus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Basellaceae, with one species, Ullucus tuberosus (Quechua ulluku[2] (u:ju:ku), hispanicized spellings olluco, ulluco, or milluku,[2] hispanicized melloco) a plant grown primarily as a root vegetable, secondarily as a leaf vegetable. Another common name in Spanish is papalisa.

Ulluco is one of the most widely grown and economically important root crops in the Andean region of South America, second only to the potato.[3] It is known there with the common name of papalisa, but also by the regional names milluku and ulluku (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru), chugua and uyucos (Colombia) or ruba (Venezuela), among others.[4] The tuber is the primary edible part, but the leaf is also used and is similar to spinach.[4] They are known to contain high levels of protein, calcium, and carotene. Ulluco was used by the Incas prior to arrival of Europeans in South America.

Ullucus tuberosus has a subspecies, Ullucus tuberosus subsp. aborigineus, which is considered a wild type. While the domesticated varieties are generally erect and have a diploid genome, the subspecies is generally a trailing vine and has a triploid genome.[4]


The major appeal of ulluco is its crisp texture which, like the jicama, remains even when cooked. Because of its high water content, ulluco is not suitable for frying or baking, but it can be cooked in many other ways like the potato. In the pickled form, it is added to hot sauces. It is the main ingredient in the classic Peruvian dish olluquito con ch'arki, and a basic ingredient together with the mashua in the typical Colombian dish cocido boyacense. They are generally cut into thin strips.

Oblong and thinly shaped, they grow to be only a few inches long. Varying in color, papalisa tubers may be orange/yellow in color with red/pink/purple freckles. In Bolivia, they grow to be very colorful and decorative, though with their sweet and unique flavor they are rarely used for decoration. When boiled or broiled they remain moist and the texture and flavor are very similar to the meat of the boiled peanut without the skin but unlike the boiled peanut becoming soft and mushy ulluco remains firm and almost crunchy.

See also


  1. "Nutrition facts for oca, ulloco, and mashua". Cultivariable. 2013-06-11. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  2. 1 2 Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  3. http://www.bioversityinternational.org/uploads/tx_news/Andean_roots_and_tubers_472.pdf#page=8&zoom=auto,-262,4
  4. 1 2 3 Lost Crops of the Incas: Little-Known Plants of the Andes with Promise for Worldwide Cultivation, National Academies Press
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.