Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Manihot esculenta
Florence, 1997.
   Euphorbiaceae -- The Spurge Family Bibliography
      Manihot esculenta
General Information
DistributionManioc (also known as yucca, cassava or tapioca) is originally known from Brazil and Paraguay, but is widely cultivated in nearly all tropical regions around the world for its large, starchy edible tubers. It is only known from cultigens.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Kaua`i, O`ahu.

Perennial herb or shrub; stems 1-3 m tall, 3-20 cm in diam., nodose and sometimes flexuose, glabrous, new growth puberulent, sap watery; tubers large and starchy, sometimes with high content of cyanogenic glucosides.
Leaves with blade subpeltate, deeply 3-7-palmatifid, the lobes elliptic, ovate, obovate or linear, 5-15 cm long, 0.8-4 cm wide, apex acute to acuminate, texture chartaceous to subcoriaceous, glabrous, margins entire; petiole 4-22 cm long, 1-2 mm in diam., yellowish green or red, glabrous; stipules triangular to subulate, 5-10 mm long.
Inflorescences terminal, monoecious, in fasciculate clusters or thyrses 3-10 cm long; male flowers greenish-white, on pedicels 3-12 mm long, perigonium 5-8 mm long, stamens 10, filaments slender, anthers ellipsoid. Female flowers on pedicels 8-22 mm long, perigonium white with purple-red makings, slightly larger than that of male flowers; ovary 6-winged, with stigma 3-branched, subtended by disc.
Fruit a subglobose capsule to 1.7 cm long, to 2 cm in diam., weakly 6-ribbed, dehiscent splitting into 6 segments.
Seeds ellipsoid, ca. 10 mm long, compressed, tan or pale brown with darker markings.
David Lorence