What is cassava and what is it used for?

manihot esculenta

Have you ever wondered what cassava is? To those of us who are very far from the natural habitat of a certain plant, when they begin to import it at first its name does not tell us anything, which is completely normal.

If you find yourself in this situation and you are curious to know, in addition, what uses it is given, then I will solve your doubts 🙂.

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a evergreen tropical shrub native to central South America that reaches two meters in height. Its scientific name is manihot esculenta, and popularly it is called tapioca, guacamota, casabe, casava, aipim or cassava. Its leaves are palmate, with very thin and divided segments, light green in color.

It is mainly marketed for its root, which is cylindrical and oblong, reaches a length of up to 1 meter by 10cm in diameter, and is very nutritious.

What are the cares?

If you want to know how cassava is cared for, here is its growing guide:

  • Weather: the climate has to be hot and humid, as it requires high levels of humidity.
  • Location: outdoors, in full sun or in semi-shade.
  • Earth: it must be fertile, with good drainage.
  • Irrigation: frequent, but without flooding. It has to be watered 3-4 times a week in the warmer months and somewhat less the rest of the year.
  • Planting or transplanting time: in spring.
  • Rusticity: it does not resist frost.

What uses does it have?


The cassava root, once peeled and cooked (it is normally cooked, although it can also be fermented depending on what you want to prepare with it) has the same uses as potatoes; namely, It can be used to make soups, stews, purees, and even desserts.


Although its main use is as a garden plant, the truth is that has a very high ornamental value. Its leaves are very pretty, which makes the vegetable garden (or garden) look spectacular.

Cassava plant

What did you think of the cassava?

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