Malanga vs. Yautia

JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)March 6, 2009

I picked up these "roots" at the local Latin grocery store a couple of days ago. The one on the left is "malanga", the one on the right is "yautia". The big question is, what is the difference? Aside from a slight difference in size (malanga was generally bigger), they looked identical to me. The girl at the store insisted they are different and said that the yautia has white flesh, which it does (I broke a piece off); the malanga has pale pink flesh. It will be interesting to see what they grow into. As far as I can tell, both are Xanthosoma; malanga has produced a very handsome elephant ear in previous years (X. sagittifolia?) but I have never grown yautia. Different species? Different cultivars? Who knows.

Here's the malanga I grew a couple of years ago:

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I think you're right in the sense that they are both Xanthosoma, although I think the pink, or sometimes purple colored root might be X. violaceum (someone knowledgeable in this genus will know far better than I). Question is...did you get to harvest anything from that great looking specimen?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 8:07AM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

I don't generally dig them up, as it's generally easier to just buy the tubers at the local grocery store! When I've dug them up I find just the one large central tuber, and a few very small side tubers. The small tubers usually shrivel up, and the main tuber usually rots. These are true tropicals and I think my growing season is too short for them to multiply or bulk up much, and too wet for them to go properly dormant in the fall.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:31AM
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You're right. They do need more time to develop a number of good sized tubers. When I was little I recall my grandmother planting these for harvest and it seemed like the plants were in the ground at least 7-8 months-in the tropics, where there's practically no halt to the growing season.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 9:09AM
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    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Try a Yuca...Not to be confused with Yucca.
It makes a small tree like bush about 4 feet tall.Yuca fries blow French fries away when the yuca is fresh...Hint...It aint nowhere near fresh in the US Latin markets.Horrible !

Yautia is Xanthosoma violaceum.Good in soups and stews.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 7:57AM
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I grew up in a farm in the caribbean, malanga is much larger than the yautia and when cooked the malanga is softer than yautia. The malanga plant is much taller and the leaf is much larger that the yautia plant I still eat yautia but do not eat malanga that much. See the pictures, I bought yautia and malanga this weekend.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2014 at 8:01PM
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this is a very old post, but it stil might be useful for reference.
there are 5 malangas and 3 yautias on the list. some malangas are xanthozomas, some colocasias.

Here is a link that might be useful: list of edible tubers with bot names

    Bookmark   January 4, 2015 at 9:14AM
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I make a nice stew with goya canned garganzo beans, carrots and yautia!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2015 at 10:55AM
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