Added 11/21/08 I am regularly having people find my blog using a search engine to see if they can eat sweet potatoes from an ornamental plant. Please leave a comment to let me know whether you decided to eat your potatoes, and what you thought of them. If you do not have a blog, you can leave a comment by checking "Anonymous".
Added 11/11/10 I have other posts where I baked and eaten different kinds of ornamental sweet potatoes. Click here to see all the posts I've done on them.
My Marguerite potato vine produced a few tubers that I put aside last week. This afternoon, I Googled them to see if they are edible. I came across an old thread from iVillage Garden Web's Far North Gardening Forum, where people were saying they were edible, but there were differing views on the taste, and whether a person would want to eat them.
"Well," I thought to myself, "Here's an opportunity to be a photo-journalist and food tester!"
So, here is a photo of my vine, Ipomoea batatas 'Marguerite' taken 9/7/08. It's the lime green one in front. I don't remember if I checked the dark leaved sweet potato vine for tubers.
Here is the "harvest". It's not huge, but I thought I may as well see what they taste like, as I know I like sweet potatoes.
I put the potatoes on sensor cook, and my plan was to also time them to see how long they take to cook, but I forgot to. After a couple minutes, I heard a "pop" or two. I opened the microwave to see there was a little bursting, even though I had poked holes into them for steam to escape. I cleaned up the mess, put an extra paper towel over the potatoes, and let them finish the 2 minutes and few seconds that were left on the microwave.
Here they are, cooked! You can see the one that burst.
I am not photogenic! I had my husband take a few pictures, but deleted most of them. These aren't great, but here I am, seasoning a bit of the potato with pepper. I had already tasted a small bite, and it was sweeter and had a milder flavor than I had expected it to. I was pleased!
The verdict? If you like sweet potatoes, you will probably like these. My husband refused to taste them, as he does not like sweet potatoes. I think it's an awesome bonus from growing something you enjoy, even if it's just enough for a meal.
These weren't as moist as sweet potatoes, but with spray margarine, and a little salt and pepper, I enjoyed the rest of the potatoes with my supper. I should have gone out and cut some chives to put on them. They may have been moister if the smaller ones were cooked separately from the large one.
Next year, I'll pay more attention to any other sweet potato vines I plant, to see what kind of harvest they provide.
They look really HUMMY !!!! It is always good to eat some thing that you have grown.ReplyDelete
Thanks for leaving a comment! It was fun doing this little experiment.ReplyDelete
I love this post! I hadn't thought about Marguerite producing edible sweet potatoes, but it makes sense. I agree with bopeep, it is good to eat something you have grown.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sweet Bay, It was kind of a silly little post, but like I told Bopeep, it was fun! Today I received an email from a man whose neighbor gave him a baseball sized sweet potato from a Marguerite vine. He found my blog by doing a search. He said he's going to cook it. I asked him to put a comment on the blog to let us know how he cooked it, and what he thought of it. I hope he does!ReplyDelete
Did you eat all your Marguerites, or save some for next year, like dahlias and gladioli?ReplyDelete
The most traffic I ever got when I kept up with such, was when I wrote about Rabbit tobacco, and when I wrote about how to cut off blue jeans. Isn't that funny? Oh, and when I made photos of the crop duster plane overhead.
LOL, Jean. I looked up your crop duster awhile back, but didn't know about the rabbit tobacco. I didn't know you sweet potatoes would keep for next year, in home storage. My husband threw away my dahlia, and I forgot to retrieve it, so I'm disappointed about that. It would've been my first go at storing them over the winter.ReplyDelete
Here it is, March 2010, and I wanted to find out if these potatoes are edible. I grew them last year and when I cleaned them out for the winter, I found several "potatoes". Was not sure about eating them, and I wanted to grow them again this summer, cuz they are gorgeous decorative plants. Maybe I will try eating them this year! Thanks for this info.ReplyDelete
Thanks for leaving a comment. I'm not sure if you subscribed to follow up comments, but I am a bit slow in responding. I have other posts I've done on the subject, too. I've decided I like regular sweet potatoes better, but I'll still eat those from the ornamental plants. Some folks store them, I can't remember where, over the winter, and replant them in the spring.
I hope you are enjoying spring.
I accidently discovered the "potatoes" as I pulled my sweet potato vines out for the winter. Out of curiousity, I cleaned them, and put them in the microwave. They had the absolute best flavor! I prefer them over regular sweet potatoes! I add nothing to them as they are so sweet and delicious naturally. What a wonderful surprise :)ReplyDelete
Cool, I got another Anonymous comment on the subject! I just noticed it. I'm glad you had a good experience. My ornamental ones didn't have large enough potatoes to eat this year. I did grow some that are grown to eat, and some of those turned out smaller than usual, too.ReplyDelete
Wow! Just pulled up my decorative potato plants and got a 3 lb. sweet potato and a bunch of smaller tubers! I decided to roast the smaller ones to give them a try with a little olive oil, rosemary, sea salt & pepper...they were delicious! I have plenty left for Thanksgiving and can't wait to see what the extended family thinks of them. Can't wait until next spring to plant more of these beauties and reap a wonderful bonus come fall!ReplyDelete
I just eat them raw they are so good.ReplyDelete
Hi, new commenters. Thanks for letting me know about your experiences with ornamental sweet potatoes. Roasting with olive oil and herbs sounds good. I'll have to try that next year. I have never heard of eating them raw, Greg. I'm not sure if I that would appeal to me. Maybe I should try one bite to see if I would be pleasantly surprised.ReplyDelete
It's nice to find all that I have about eating the ornamental tubers, but I'm looking for (and have not found) clear info about eating the leaves of the ornamental sweet potato vine. I just bought a light green one & am hoping it will make a good salad addition. Anybody eating the leaves?ReplyDelete
Hi Judy, I used to get emails when I had comments that needed moderating, and I'm not sure when they stopped doing that, but I have forgotten to check on my own. I also just approved some other comments, some of which answered your question about the leaves. I have read on blogs that you can, and keep forgetting to. Since they are all finished for this year, maybe I'll remember to try them next year. Did you end up eating some leaves or stems?Delete
Well, it seems all I typed before signing into Google disappeared. lol I'm wanting to know about eating the leaves of the ornamental sweet potato vines. Hoping they will make good additions to salad. Anyone eating the leaves?ReplyDelete
Yes Judy, you can eat the leaves and even the tinder stems of the sweet potato vine. I have cut some up in a salad with lettuce and other veg. and then I have added some to rice dishes and I have cooked them in other mixed vegetable dishes. I would describe the taste to be similar to spinach. A woman friend from the Philippines told me about it and said that her family always grew them in her country and ate the vines. Mine are the type that grow a green vine and produces purple flowers that close up in the evening and open in the morning like Morning Glories. After she told me that I Googled and found info to support this so I tried my hand at it. I have about a 12'x 6' area covered with the vines from 6 slips I planted last may. This is my first try at growing them. I just wonder if my sweet potatoes are still growing safely underground after I cut the vine back to eat it. My friend told me that it wouldn't affect it.ReplyDelete
Hi Maygirl, if you subscribed to the comments, you may have seen where I just apologized to Judy for not remembering to check for comments that need moderation. I just do that for older posts, because spam sometimes gets through to them.Delete
Thanks for answering Judy's question. I keep forgetting to try the stems and leaves. I hope to remember next year. Did you get a good crop of sweet potatoes?
Hello, I have a couple of questions if I may. Can I cut some slips from my sweet potato vines and grow them in a pot for decoration keeping them warm inside for the winter. Then next spring, cut the slips and replant outside again? And, are my sweet potatoes still going to be growing under ground even though I cut back the vine for eating? I do not know the name of my type. because a friend just gave me the slips but they are light green and grow flowers like Morning Glorys and I was told that they are used for ornament and for eating the sweet potato as well. Thanks for this site. I posted another comment under the name of Maygirl and am unsure if it will be published.ReplyDelete
I clicked on the names "Maygirl" and "Judy" to see if either of you had blogs, but Judy just had a Google identity with no blog. Maygirl's name didn't seem to be a link.Delete
I don't know about taking slips, but if they root in the water, I'm thinking they should grow and produce sweet potatoes, but I'm not sure. Did you end up trying it? Yes, the sweet potatoes have pretty blooms, don't they?
So glad to have stumbled across this blog! My mother had planted these very same vines and as I was watering yesterday, I saw this huge, pink-red colored thing sticking out of the dirt. I joked and said it was alien looking. We had no idea sweet potatoes could be grown from these vines. Very glad to know these can be eaten! Thank you! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for leaving a comment. I'm just figuring out that I need to check for comments that need approval, instead of getting a message in my email letting me know. Did you end up eating the "alien"?
It is glad to find your experience eating ornamental sweet potatoes. We use to grow some sweet potato vines from tubers of those from supermarket. I learned from a colleague that people in some Asian countries such as Japan and Taiwan love to eat cooked sweet potato leaves and vine, in addition to the sweet potatoes. So we mainly eat their leaves for vegetable and thus sweet potatoes per se are not very productive. The young leaves taste ok but add some good color to salad. I prefer to boil the leaves (young and mature) briefly in water as a side dish to soak up steak juice or so.ReplyDelete
Since the ornamental sweet potatoes are edible, I will go ahead to try the leaves before the frost comes.
Your comment caused me to remember one of the sweet potato plants I put in was from one that I put in a jar this winter to see if it would root. It did, but I'm thinking that's the plant that didn't do well when I planted it. Maybe I'll try that again with one this winter so I can see if it will do OK.
I also want to remember to try some leaves and stems next year.
Thanks for the info . here. The pofessional gardening sites said you could eat them , but they wouldn't be very good. Nice to see a regular gardener posted with pictures and her own opion. So, I'm off to cook one of my tubers which is huge, and I'm sure it will be yummy!ReplyDelete
To the Sept. 17 commenter, That's the information I found, too, acting like eating the potatoes from the ornamental plants is not worth the effort. Sometimes they are pretty small, but other times they are nice sized. They are so easy to poke and microwave. Why not squirt a little margarine on them, and maybe chop some parsley or chives on them, and eat them with a meal? What did you think of yours?Delete
Thanks for the info. I just picked my first plant and had over 10 lbs of sweet Potato. I've 6 more plants to go. I'll let you know we like them.ReplyDelete
Thanks, October 10,Delete
You must have grown lots of sweet potato vines! What a nice sized harvest! I wonder how long they will keep. Do let anyone who subscribed to the follow up comments know how you fixed them and if you liked them. That goes for others who have tried them.
In case you didn't see some other posts I did on the subject, here's a link.
(By the way, in one of the posts, I see I decided I like them better baked in the oven. I didn't do a post last year, and don't remember how the harvest was. I also grow the non-ornamental kind in tubs, where the rabbits can't eat them, and have a pretty good harvest this year. I have a few good sized ornamental ones, as well as some skinny ones. I better get those used soon, because they probably won't keep long.)
great wb site! ive have got several large plants with at least 6-7 potaotes in each planter. im going to cook them this weekend to see how they taste.i love sweet potaoes.thanks for the tip1ReplyDelete
Thanks, New Commenter,Delete
I hope you liked your potatoes. They aren't as good as the ones grown for eating, but I like the idea of eating what you can in your garden.
Did not know you could eat these! Thanks for the information!ReplyDelete