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A well-grown sweet potato vine will usually produce a pound or more of tubers. However, they can be grown in the winter in hotter desert climates if given adequate water. Sweet potato fries burst into popularity a few years ago, but sweet potatoes have been a staple food for quite a long time. “Moist” sweet potatoes are often called yams; however, the true yam is actually a different species found in tropical regions. They are high in calcium, iron and zinc. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) belong to the Convolvulaceae family. Ornamental sweet potato vine varieties are widely grown throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11 for their lush, … In both cases, the leaves should be blanched and then shocked in ice water. Varieties of Sweet Potato Here are some common sweet potato types: Covington – Rosy skin with deep orange flesh. The leaves are best if harvested when young and tender. Vines and petioles are green with light purple at the apex of the petiole and at leaf axil. Sweet potato leaves pair well with savory flavor enhancers such as fish sauce or dried shrimp, aromatics such as garlic, onion, and ginger, meats such as chicken, beef, pork, or fish, red bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Keep deer from nibbling leaves with floating row covers or bird netting. It is related to the morning glory, and has similar flowers, although it doesn’t usually bloom in temperate climates. Watch out for Japanese beetles and other leaf-eating insects, sweet potato weevils, wireworms, and nematodes. The two best methods of preserving sweet potato leaves are freezing and dehydrating. Ornamental plants may have deep purple to almost black leaves, lime green or yellow leaves and leaves speckled and streaked in different colors, including pink and white. Leaves may be lobed or nearly divided and may have smooth or serrated edges. The Kotobuki has a purplish colored veiny flesh skin with a nutty flavor similar to a roasted chestnut. The sweet potato is suitable for growing in zones 3-11 as an annual, and zones 8-11 as a perennial. Barbara Ruben has been a journalist for over 25 years. Each package contains carefully bundled slips and a copy of our Sweet Potato Growing Guide.. Many people don’t realize that sweet potato leaves and stems are edible. Leaves are slightly hairy to touch. Finely sliced leaves are a good addition to salads or can be made into vegetable fritters. Bonita $ 16.75 – $ 96.00. The vines need no other food, just an occasional water change. Although it’s possible to pressure can them just as you would spinach, the taste and texture are not as good as when frozen. You can grow sweet potatoes indoors all year round if you want an edible houseplant. Grow Black Heart, named for both its color and leaf shape, in full to partial sun. While most sweet potato packer/shippers offer one or two varieties to their commercial customers, Scott Farms offers six varieties, each with its own unique appearance and taste. O’ Henry is a white-skinned, cream-fleshed sweet potato that cooks up drier than other sweet potato varieties. Sweet potatoes are not difficult to grow. While the ornamental sweet potato plants don’t often flower, when Blackie does, it produces lavender or purple trumpet-like flowers. The Kotobuki is great for baking, great in salads, tempura, soups, stews, and stir-fries. ... Plant resistant varieties and destroy any infected plants. Eating quality is similar to Beauregard, though the flesh is a little drier, but not as dry as some of the old white varieties. Most varieties with a rating of intermediate or resistant can be grown without any problems from Fusarium wilt. An old-fashioned sweet potato that is perhaps the sweetest of all varieties. The confusion comes from an unfortunate attempt to distinguish between varieties of these root veggies hundreds of years ago. Shake off any water remaining on the leaves, then freeze or dehydrate. They may be: Sweet potatoes can be grown primarily for their tubers or for their ornamental leaves. The ornamental varieties are simply cultivars of the species plant. Harvesting and handling the leaves Begin harvesting leaves 45-90 days after planting, 1-2 times per month until the roots are harvested Don’t harvest the leaves too frequently or you may reduce the root growth, or the leaves may be less nutritious Sweet potato leaves should be used as fresh as possible as they are prone to wilting. Sweet potato leaves can be substituted for other leafy greens. Yes, there’s more than one type of sweet potato at your local grocery store. The leaves are green and mainly heart shaped. She has written extensively for the "Washington Post" and served as editor for an international health-care magazine and a group of newspapers for older adults. In colder zones, they can be started indoors and planted after the risk of frost has passed; they may need to be harvested early, which may limit tuber size. Sweet Potato Varieties to Grow. The dry-fleshed types have a mealier texture when cooked and aren't as widely grown. The leaves are quite nutritious and contain several vitamins and minerals. Black Rot. The dusty to dark purple of Sweet Caroline Bewitched Purple was developed at North Carolina State University in Raleigh in 2006. For the best leaf color, plant in direct sun and water well. The sweet potato plant is a branching, creeeping vine with spirally arranged lobed, heart shaped leaves and white or lavender flowers. You can harvest leaves at any time or harvest the entire vine. The leaves are notched, and while the plant does not produce flowers, it does grow sweet-flavored potatoes. For these and for food processing should definitely be encour aged. They can also be sliced thin and added to salads or sauteed in fat or broth. It prefers well-drained soil and partial to full sun. Sweet potato varieties differ in skin and flesh color and texture, as well as in leaf shape and vine length. 4 of 8 It's all about the foliage on sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas). Leaves grow in a spiral around the stem. This variety grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 13. If a susceptible variety such as Heartogold or Porto Rico is grown in the same land for several years, plants may develop yellowing of older leaves, wilt and die … The plant has enlarged roots called tubers which act as an energy store for the plant. Moderate fertility is all that’s required, but the plants prefer an acid soil. Sweet potato leaves come in different shapes, depending on the variety. Its tuberous root can be eaten. How to Know When It's Time to Harvest Sweet Potatoes, Fine Gardening: Ipomoea Batatas "Blackie" (Sweet Potato Vine), Carolina Country: New Colors, Leaf Shapes for Sweet Potato Vine, Proven Winners: "Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Purple", Mississippi State University: Ornamental Sweet Potatoes Add Plenty of Foliage Color. A vine-type variety, it is known for its great taste, making it an excellent baking and cooking potato. Sweet potatoes – even the short-season varieties – need a frost-free growing season of at least 120 days. Ornamental sweet potato vines are in the same family as edible sweet potatoes and are in fact the same species. Plants grown for food generally have greenish-yellow or green leaves, and some have purple pigmentation. Sweet Potato Varieties. Chopped leaves can be added to soups, stews and casseroles. Sweet potato tubers are described as “dry” and “moist” noting the texture of the tuber when eaten. Choose contrasting purple and chartreuse varieties for a dynamic mix or plant a purple-leaf variety with a silver-leaf … The sweet potato, especially the orange variety, is often called a "yam" in parts of North America, but it … There are two basic types of sweet potatoes: moist- and dry-fleshed. This was more than 30 years ago. Plants grown for food generally have The leaves contain the vitamins C, E and K, as well as riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid and niacin. Their leaves are edible. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of carotene. The Bewitched Purple grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 13. Roots are a light copper color with moist, reddish-orange flesh. The sweet potato plant or sweet potato vine has been cultivated for around 2,000 years for its sweet tasting tubers. With its dark green to black-purple hue, the Black Heart sweet potato vine adds visual interest as it trails along garden border or in hanging baskets. Darby – Deep red skin, deep orange flesh, vigorous vines. In addition to the sweet, highly colored tubers, the vine produces edible leaves that can be used as you would other greens. Their flowers, however, are pale purple. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. While it grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 13, this variety likes warm weather, so plant it in unshaded areas of the garden and avoid getting the leaves wet while watering. Types of Sweet Potatoes to Try. The tubers are produced in a cluster underground. When growing sweets, the right growing conditions are necessary to have a successful yield of tubers.Here are some of the top growing varieties of sweet potatoes: For unique colors: Stokes Purple Sweet Potato – This variety has gorgeous, rich purple skin and flesh that maintains its color even when cooked. Sometimes, local sweet potato varieties have leaves that are more nutritious than exotic varieties. A few have purple leaves when young and green mature leaves. Growing season is 115 to 120 days. Sweet Potato Plant Slips. World-wide there are about 6,500 sweet potato varieties including wild accessions, farmer varieties, and breeding lines. Â© Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. They are bred for the beauty of their leaves rather than edible tubers, and the vines from these plants make them look more like a morning glory or clematis than a member of the potato family. Kotobuki. Start the leaves by growing a sweet potato tuber in water, then detach the rooted slips and place each in a clean jar. All the varieties described below are technically sweet potatoes, though they’re often called yams. While the crunchy version served with aioli may be new, these versatile sweet potato varieties that range in color from purple to cream-colored to orange and red have been a nutritious and tasty food for almost 5000 years. Regular Russet-type potatoes belong to the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family. Try them sauteed in a little olive oil or butter with some onions. Most sweet potatoes will produce a crop even in relatively poor soil. Most of the popular varieties are the moist-fleshed types; these types convert more starch to sugar during cooking, making them sweeter to eat. The sharply lobed leaves of Midnight Lace sport a glossy purple-black hue, complemented occasionally by lavender flowers. This list of sweet potato cultivars provides some information about varieties and cultivars of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas).Sweet potato was first domesticated in the Americas more than 5,000 years ago. This vine hails from Central and northern South America and grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 13. Ipomoea batatas Slips are vine cuttings from sprouted sweet potatoes for transplanting to your garden in the spring. Important Shipping Information: We ship sweet potato slips from Mid-May to early June, beginning with southernmost areas (but may be pre-ordered starting in December). I remember the days when I just wouldn’t plant a potato leaf (PL) tomato plant because I was told that they would easily cross-pollinate with my regular leafed varieties. using sweetpotato leaves as food, but its content does not change greatly according to the harvesting time and is less than onefifth that of spinach. Sweet Potato Leaf Color Sweet potatoes can be grown primarily for their tubers or for their ornamental leaves. Kotobuki sweet potatoes are dryer and not widely used outside of Japanese cooking. Whether its orange or white flesh, red or white skin, or even Japanese, you can order anything you need from Scott Farms. New white variety out of Louisiana, this variety has light colored skin with a pink cast and a white colored flesh that may have some yellow tint. My Favorite Potato Leaf Tomato Varieties. Black rot is a fungus that can affect sweet potatoes. Are Vegetable Plants Poisonous to Animals? Cook them in boiling water until just wilted, then cover in a sauce such as hollandaise. Sweet potatoes can be compared to spinach in terms of nutrients. She earned a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University. It is evergreen and blooms year round. Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Caroline’ This variety is not just one coloration of plant, but includes five separate color options – yellowish green, red, purple, bronze, and light green varieties are available. People grow sweet potato in many parts of the world, including New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, … They do best in USDA Zones 8 to 11. Like spinach, they do contain oxalic acid, but in much lower quantities, which is why they can be used raw as well as cooked. Sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas, is an herbaceous perennial in the family Convolvulaceae grown for its edible storage roots. The rooted sprouts, or slips, should be spaced about 18 inches apart in loose soil that drains well. The sweet potato is a perennial vine, native to the tropics. Like their green-leafed cousins, these plants produce tasty tubers, as well as morning glory-like flowers. Leaves of all sweet potato varieties may not be suitable for frequent human consumption especially for those with kidney stones problems due to the high levels of oxalates exhibited in these varieties . The Blackie (Ipomoea batatas "Blackie") sweet potato's heart-shaped leaves are a deep purple verging on black. Sweet Potato Varieties: Purple Leaf | Home Guides | SF Gate Seeds from these plants are toxic. In developing countries it is a major food source. They are usually cooked in water as you would chard or spinach. It’s essential to get rid of infected potatoes to prevent the spread of the disease. Sweet potatoes are a two-for-one crop. With leaves ranging from deep violet to purplish-black, ornamental sweet potato plants add a dash of drama to gardens. It is said that Columbus brought the plant to Europe from the New World on his expedition (Missouri Botanical Garden).Though the variety of sweet potato plant that produces the edible tubers can be planted for its trailing vines, more recently, different variations have … Harvesting: Potatoes are usually ready as the ends of vines begin to turn yellow or just before frost. Adequate water will increase tuber size and number, although plants can tolerate some dry spells. The scientific name for ornamental sweet potato plants is Ipomoea batatas. 90-100 day maturity. Watch out for such problems as fungal leaf spots and stem rot when growing this cultivar. The sweet potato is not closely related to the common potato (Solanum tuberosum). As of 2013, there are approximately 7,000 sweet potato cultivars. As a crop, sweet potato is more tolerant of … However, stems – especially those of any size – tend to be tough. Their leaves are not edible and can make you sick. Oxalates bind calcium and magnesium and interfere with their absorption and metabolism hence the need to limit dietary intake. Source - International Potato Center (CIP) Sweet potato skin colors come in various shades of creamy white, yellow-orange, tan, reddish-purple and red.. Sweet potato flesh colors come in shades of orange, yellow-orange, white, purple and red. In addition to eating fresh, you can dry or freeze them.
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