William Woys Weaver writes a great article about their edibility in Mother Earth News. He has continued his breeding project and I hope to hear more about it in the future. In the meantime, James Wong from the UK has also tried to popularize their use as food calling them Dahlia yams. Apparently the yellow cactus types are particularly good.
A few years back, I decided to try my own hand at selecting for good food quality. The first few years were a resounding failure as my seedlings kept succumbing to a fungus including ever last one of my Dahlia merkii. Actually, that’s not exactly true. I did get two that survived in 2014 only to be taken down by a careless foot (not mine) and a mysterious disappearing act. I don’t normally have damping off problems so I’m not sure if they are particularly suspectible or I was cursed. At any rate, last year, I got a good group growing of Children of Bishop’s Llandaff. There was quite a bit of variability in the roots.
All about growing, selecting and using edible plants in the Ottawa valley.