Potato (Solanum tuberosum)

Bunches of Potatoes Photo Courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Potatoes.jpg
Potato Plant Photo Courtesy of http://persoon.si.edu/PlantImages/


      The potato plant (Solanum tuberosum) is a perennial herb, but in agriculture it is used as an annual crop.  Although potatoes grow seeds, the seeds are rarely used when potatoes are planted.  Seed tubers are most commonly used to plant potatoes.  A tuber is the swollen part of the rhizome or stolon.  You may know it as the starchy part of the plant that you eat.  Check out the Reproduction page for more about CLONED potatoes!Clone Picture from Clipart

      The largest type of potato is most commonly used for restaurants and baking potatoes. Spherical potatoes are preferred for making potato chips because of their shape. Red potatoes hold up well to roasting and boiling, and are a bit waxy in texture. Blue potatoes, with a violet-blue skin and blue starch, are a gourmet choice. Fingerling potatoes, calleFrench Fries Photo from Clipartd as such because they are the size of a finger, are a frequent choice in gourmet Asian cuisine. The life of a potato is far more versatile than French fries in a Happy Meal.

      All potatoes are grown in rows that are hilled to reduce the amount of waters the potatoes sit in, which in turn reduces the risk of potatoes developing rot. The hills also allow more room for the tubers to develop.

      Farmers who grow potatoes face an abundance of crop complications.

      Check out the Diseases and Pests page for more information about some of the biological factors that hamper potato growth.


      For more information about growing your own potatoes visit http://www.healthwayfarms.com/potatogrowing.html