Achira is a crop native to tropical South America with fleshy rhizomes that produce a yellow starch. It has long been a foodstuff consumed in the Andean region. In Peru abundant remains of the plant dating back to 2500 14C bc have been excavated. The rhizomes are used as a starchy vegetable and as a spice, and for starch production, animal fodder, and dye. Achira is now cultivated pan-tropically and in other warmer regions of the world. In Vietnam, during the late 20th century, large areas of this plant were cultivated for the production of the highly prized transparent noodles that are an indispensable part of that country's cuisine. Other uses for this species include use of the seeds as beads and the leaves as a food wrapping.
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