Manihot esculenta (Cassava, Manioc)
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Eurosid I > Order: Malpighiales > Family: Euphorbiaceae
Manihot esculenta, Nhancuco, lower slopes
Mount Gorongosa, Mozambique. [photo Bart Wursten ©,
Native to west-central Brazil and domesticated about 10 000
years ago. Cultivated in southern Africa and has also become naturalised in the
region. Tapioca is manufactured from the starchy tuber. It can
also be used to produce an alcoholic drink and to make flour. The leaves can be
eaten as a vegetable. Cassava is the third greatest source of carbohydrates for
humans in the world, with the greatest production in tropical Africa.
Bellotti, A.C., Smith, L. & Lapointe, S.L.
1999. Recent advances in cassava pest management. Annual Review of
Entomology 44: 343-370.