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Yen D. E. 1963. The New Zealand kumara or sweet potato. Economic Botany 17: 31-45

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Over the summers of 1955-58, Yen collected Māori kūmara cultivars from areas in the northern North Island, in order to describe and study them before they became extinct. "The varieties of kumara... being grown by the Maoris... are described and classed as Maori (pre-European) or European introductions. While the number of varieties is small compared with that claimed for the early Maori, it appears from the historical evidence that the variation in pre-European stocks was limited compared with that found elsewhere in the species. The New Zealand varieties have not been induced to flower, but varieties from the Pacific Islands, southeast Asia and South America have flowered in New Zealand, and some Peruvian varieties have set seed. The interaction of climate and variety in the manifestation of sexual reproduction in the species is considered in relation to an alternative explanation for the large number of varieties attributed to the pre-European Maori. Economic characters exhibited in the New Zealand varieties could form a useful basis for a plant improvement programme." (author"s abstract)

Yen lists Maori (pre-European) varieties as: Rekamaroa (synonyms = Manawa, Toriana, Tokauu); Hutihuti (syn = Konu); Taputini; Houhere.

Introduced varieties pre-1900 are: Merikana (American); Waina; Kotepo (syn = Waina).

Introduced varieties post-1900 are: Paukena

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The New Zealand kumara or sweet potato

Yen D. E.
Economic Botany

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12 June 2007
4 April 2011
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