Friday, July 11, 2008


What The Heck is growing on my potato plants? I've never seen anything like this before! Only a couple of plants have these on them.

When I first cut these open they were white inside, but a couple of minutes later they turned a slight brownish color. They have a delicate smell and taste of a potato, but look like a green cherry tomato without seeds and are solid.

HELP before my MUTANT garden takes over the world!!!!


farm mom said...

Whoa! That is freaky!! I've got no idea dad. Crazy!

Bethany said...

I'm a little freaked out by that. I personally have no idea, but maybe this will help?
-Beth(geographically a former Michigander, but home will always be Pinconning on the Pleasant Peninsula)

GreyWolf said...

Thank you Bethany for providing the site that answered my dilema:

Potato plants grow high to the ground and bear yellow to silver flowers with yellow stamens.

Potatoes are cross-pollinated mostly by bumblebees that carry pollen from other potato plants, but a substantial amount of self-fertilizing occurs as well. Any potato variety can also be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers, cut to include at least one or two eyes, or also by cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers.

Some commercial potato varieties do not produce seeds at all (they bear imperfect flowers) and are propagated only from tuber pieces. Confusingly, these tubers or tuber pieces are called "seed potatoes".

After potato plants flower, some varieties will produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes, each containing up to 300 true seeds. By finely chopping the fruit and soaking it in water, the seeds will separate from the flesh by sinking to the bottom after about a day (the remnants of the fruit will float). All new potato varieties are grown from seeds, also called "true seed" or "botanical seed" to distinguish it from seed tubers. Potato fruit contains large amounts of the toxic alkaloid solanine, and is therefore unsuitable for consumption.

Yep, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and nightshade are all close relatives, all members of Solanaceae, the nightshade family. They all have similar blossoms, and all make fruits -- of varying degrees of edibility! That's why when the tomato was introduced to Europe, a lot of people thought it couldn't possibly be edible.

I've seen potato seed for sale, and one advantage of using true seeds over buying "seed" potatoes is that you avoid any chance of introducing potato diseases. It's more work to start from seed, though. I've not tried it myself.