Herb: Sweet Potato


Latin name: Ipomoea batatas


Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning-glory Family)



Edible parts of Sweet Potato:

Root - cooked. Sweet and fleshy, it is a delicious staple food and is also very nutritious providing a rich source of vitamins and minerals. There are cultivars with soft, moist flesh and also forms with a more dry flesh. There are also less sweet cultivars, bred for industrial production of starch. In order for the roots to store through the winter, they need to be cured in the sunshine at temperatures around 25C fr about a week before being stored at around 14C. Young shoot tips.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial Climber


Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Derived in cultivation, probably from Ipomoea trifida, this species is not known in a truly wild situation.

Other uses of Sweet Potato:

The root is a source of starch.

Propagation of the herb:

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water, or scarify the seed, and sow in individual pots in a greenhouse in early spring. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 weeks at 22C. Plants are extremely resentful of root disturbance, even when they are quite small, and should be potted up almost as soon as they germinate. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Seedlings can be very variable and are likely to be less productive than vegetatively produced plants. Stem cuttings obtained from terminal shoots. Remove the lower leaves and insert the cuttings to half their depth in individual pots.

Cultivation of Sweet Potato:

Derived in cultivation, probably from Ipomoea trifida, this species is not known in a truly wild situation.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Ipomoea batatas:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.