Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Flowering of Oca

If you are lucky enough to have had Oca flower, you can probably contribute valuable information to help solve a mystery. Let me explain.
The most promising method to obtain day-length neutral strains of Oca is to look for the trait in the variable plants grown from true seed rather than clones grown from tubers.
Seed can be obtained if you can persuade more than one variety of Oca to flower simultaneously, but that is more easily said than done as Oca may, or may not oblige in that department depending on unknown mystery factors.
One gardener in one location cannot see the factors, or at least not this gardener. Observations on flowering periods are needed from a wide geographical and climatic range - then hopefully a pattern will be evident when viewed overall.

Do your bit for the Oca breeding effort, push back the frontiers of the Oca-unknown - join the Radix Root Crops facebook group, and contribute to the discussion 'Flowering Ocas: Where and When'.

Even knowing that Oca is not flowering in a certain location is useful information.
If you're not into facebook, leave a comment here about your flowering (or non-flowering) Oca. Dates, location, recent weather... anything that you think might be relevant.

Come on Oca flowers out there  - show yourself!

The tiny flower buds grow from leaf axils near the growing tips of stems.


  1. No flowers at all this year, in Birmingham UK. We had an early heatwave, followed by cooler, wetter weather. I had flowers on one variety last year, after a much wetter summer.

  2. Thanks Robert. Good to hear from you - I hope you're okay.
    Your observation supports my thinking that cool and/or moist weather is needed for flowering, but whether it could be to do with humidity, maximum temperature, night temperature, general plant stress ...
    Can you remember the rough dates of flowering last year?

  3. Thanks for the plug Ian. I've just had a look at a friend's ocas, a couple of miles from mine - small and stunted and not many flowers. I can only assume that soil moisture availability is critical, although some of my big plants haven't flowered. The confusing world of Oxalis tuberosa.

  4. Thanks for the photos, now I know what I'm looking for! But no signs of flowers in Oxfordshire yet ;)

  5. I have not seen any flowers yet, but oca plants seem to grow well in my garden outside Copenhagen in Denmark.

  6. Just wanted to let you know that my Oca flowered on and around the 21st September this year. Thanks for the link to the radix root crops facebook page as well. Have joined.

  7. Our oca is getting ready to flower. We're about 300 meters from the ocean on the coast of Washington, so it is almost always cool and damp, but there has been plenty of evening fog keeping everything nice and wet. We have a few plants with buds that look close to opening and several dozen that are just emerging from the axils. Another data point three years later. ;)