Cassava (Manihot esculenta), also called yuca, mogo, manioc, mandioca, tapioca and kamoteng kahoy, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge family) native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy, tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. It differs from the similarly-spelled yucca, an unrelated fruit-bearing shrub in the Asparagaceae family. Cassava, when dried to a starchy, powdery (or pearly) extract is called tapioca, while its fermented, flaky version is named garri.Cassava is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics. Cassava is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for around 500 million people.
Contributions by Jorge Stolfi, PDH, and Danwagner01.