Last year I never even considered crossing Oca and obtaining seed. After all, I knew it was impossible to get successful pollination without multiple varieties, and I was only growing one variety. I knew that flowering was infrequent, and had read that germination was erratic and difficult. All this was received wisdom a year ago.
So why did I carefully lift and check the roots of the plant, and not just terminate it with a hoe, assuming it to be an annoying volunteer in the wrong place? Well, a combination of three separate pieces of information coming together at the right time:
1. Rhizowen's comment elsewhere on this site ' ...mid stylar morphs are, so I've been led to believe, sometimes capable of self pollination.'
2. Rhizowen's post Another Oca Shocker, breaking news that Oca seed can overwinter and germinate outdoors.
3. My own comment on the same post "It would have been so easy to run them through with a hoe thinking they were volunteers..."
Then yesterday, just as in the comment, I found myself standing over a few defenceless Oca seedlings with a sharp hoe poised at their necks. Cogs whirred for a couple of seconds before I decided to check the plants below ground. All were obviously growing from tubers - apart from this one which was clearly not.
No-dig is the other factor that allowed this seed to make it. On a conventional plot it would have been turned 12" underground and would not have had reserves to reach the surface.
This can only have been from a flower that was self-pollinated - from the same plant, and possibly from the same flower, but given the chromosome-scrum that is Oca genetics, it may still produce some useful diversity. So in to a pot you go!