Manihot esculenta

Manihot esculenta Crantz

Common Names: Casava, Manioc

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Habit: Manihot esculenta grows as a woody perennial to 3 m in height with hollow internodes.  The leaves are arranged alternately, to 15 cm in length, deeply palmately lobed. The lobes have an entire margin and an acute apex.

Manihot esculenta is monoecious. The incomplete, imperfect actinomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal and axillary racemes/panicles. Staminate flowers are lower on the inflorescence than the carpellate flowers. The calyx has 5 unfused green/yellow sepals. There is no corolla. The staminate flowers have 10 unfused stamen.  The carpellate flowers have a single superior ovary with 3 locules, and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a 3-lobed capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Manihot esculenta grows in Human Altered environments (fields, farms, yards).

Distribution: Manihot esculenta is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to South America but is spread in tropical and subtropical areas as a food crop.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Manihot esculenta is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is grown as a food crop for the starchy tubers it produces.