Cassava species and varieties

How many species of cassava are there?

There are about 100 species of cassava. Among all we can mention:

Manihot aipi

Manihot angustiloba

Manihot brachyandra

Manihot caerulescens

Manihot catingae

Manihot davisiae

Manihot dichotoma

Manihot dulcis

Manihot epruinosa

Manihot esculenta

Manihot glaziovii

Manihot grahamii

Manihot longipetiolata

Manihot manihot

Manihot melanobasis

Manihot purpureo-costata

Manihot pusilla

Manihot salicifolia

Manihot saxicola

Manihot stipularis

Manihot stricta

Manihot subspicata

Manihot tristis

Manihot utilissima

Manihot walkerae

Main varieties of cassava:

Cassava varieties can be grouped into two types:

Cassava plant 
  • Bitter varieties: They are those that have a more bitter taste and a higher content of toxins. The best known species is the one previously studied. Externally it differs from the most commonly used sweet species (Manihot dulcis) in that it has darker green leaves and reddish stems.
  • Sweet varieties: They have a lower content of cyanogenic glycosides so it is sweeter in taste. Despite this, it is necessary to cook or dry it in the sun to eliminate all toxicity. One of the most common ways is to eat it cooked as if it were potatoes. It can be fried like French fries or made into soups or others. The best known variety is sweet cassava (Manihot dulcis).

Cassava production in the world

Africa is the continent with the highest production today. It was brought there by the Portuguese colonizers and reached a great diffusion during the first half of the 20th century until it produced 40% of world production.

The main producing countries in the world are, in order of highest to lowest production, Nigeria, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Congo and India.

punto rojo More information on cassava

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

12 January, 2022

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