Last October I did a post, called, "Yes, you can eat Potato Vine, Marguerite." Over the year, I've noticed on my stat counter that the search that leads the most people to my blog is whether ornamental sweet potatoes are edible. I've invited people who don't blog to leave anonymous comments to let me know whether they tried them, but no one has. The guy who emailed me letting me know he was going to eat his, never came back to say if he liked it.
This year, I was set to experiment with different varieties of ornamental sweet potatoes to compare how they taste. I had several problems that prevented me from using good scientific methods. First, some of the tags got misplaced. Then, the day I harvested them, our grandson was over. I don't remember why, but I ended up going inside with Grandson, and asking Larry to go around to take photos of the potatoes that I had dug up and left on the dirt in their pots. Instead, he put the potatoes in sacks and brought them in. It has taken the whole evening to do this post, but I think I have figured out which potatoes came from which plants.
The photos of the plants are from July 7, 2009. The first one shows the Georgia Jet and Beauregard sweet potatoes in the wash tubs, which I've already posted the harvest of, and the reddish ornamental one in the back is Ace of Spades.
These light colored potatoes in my hand came from the above Ace of Spades plant.
I'm not sure what kind of sweet potato this is. I couldn't find it when I tried looking it up. Its potatoes were reddish, so it's something different from Ace of Spades. I thought it might be Blackie, but the leaves are not shaped the same.
Here's the potato from the above plant. I would have gotten a better photo if Larry hadn't been so helpful in picking them up.
Here is this year's Marguerite.
I only got one potato from it, probably because of all the roots from the cosmos.
Because of my experience with sweet potatoes exploding in the microwave, even though I had poked them, I decided to convection bake these at 350 degrees. I poked them, and put them all on a pizza pan, taking the smaller ones off after about 20 minutes. The others took about 15 more minutes. I had a pork roast on the shelf above them, so that could have affected the time.
The small one on the left is from the plant by the shed that had lisianthus and ageratums in it. Next, going clockwise are, Marguerite, the 2 Ace of Spades, and the larger ones are Georgia Jet, and Beauregard on the bottom.
I sprayed the potatoes with margarine, and put a touch of salt and ground some pepper on them. The reddish potatoes are from the plant by the shed. The texture was not the best, but the flavor was pretty good. Next, the Marguerite, was the sweetest of the assortment. The texture was much better than the microwaved one last year. It was my favorite on the plate. The 2 non-ornamental sweet potatoes were good, but I don't remember there being much difference in taste between them. The Ace of Spades were mild, and had good texture.
So, if you find this doing a search to see if ornamental sweet potatoes are edible, don't just stop here. There are other articles where you may find some varietes that shouldn't be eaten, but if you have some of the ones I list here, try them, and see if you like them. I would love it if you would come back and leave a comment. If you don't have a blog, you can check the "anonymous" box, and then leave your comment. Lynda, from Rustyhoe recently posted a photo of her ornamental sweet potato, and said she was going to try eating it. If you are a blogger and have done a similar post or are going to, let me know, and I'll link to it.
Oh, and I've read about saving the roots for next year. I still have some that are too small to eat. I'll have to find out how to store them for the winter.
(I did not find any potatoes under this tricolor sweet potato vine. This photo is from July.)