Well I Never..............

summer(ON)June 21, 2006

Knew a sweet potato vine had a bloom. I've never, ever seen one before. At first, I thought this was a weed.

Summer

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swisscanada

I'v never heard about a potatoe vine, guess it's an annual.
Beautiful flower, almost like a datura ....

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 7:57PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Summerday - it that on an ornamental one or an edible one? I've grown both sorts many times and I've never seen a flower either! Neat!

swisscanada - sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas)is a vining plant related to morning glories. It is not related to regular potatoes. There are a couple of commonly grown ornamental varities ('Blackie' and 'Marguerite') as well as the many cultivars grown for edible sweet potatoes.

BP

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:14AM
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summer(ON)

BP

It's an ornamental 'Marguerite' I grew from a cutting. Here it is today. Sorry I can't get a good pic.

Summer

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:01PM
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ianna(Z5b)

Sorry, please don't try eating any of these vines unless you have very certain information. Morning Glories are poisonous plants by the way.

Ianna

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:30PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

I've only grown the 'Marguerite' once - I usually grow 'Blackie' and edible ones - but I've still never seen a flower. That would be a nice bonus! What are your growing conditions?

I wouldn't eat the tuber of am ornamental sweet potato, but that's only because they're small, bitter, and generally unpalatable. They're safe to eat if you're starving to death. I wouldn't eat the seeds though - they might be toxic. The embryo of the seeds of Morning Glories contain toxic alkaloids very similar to LSD, but only in quantity (an aduly human would have to eat at least a couple of hundred - kids and pets would have problems with far fewer seeds). The amount of alkaloides varies from Morning Glory cultivar to cultivar. Foliage does contain some of the same toxic alkaloids, but in much smaller quantities - it also contains purgatives that will force you to vomit if you eat more than a few leaves, so the leaves aren't really a danger. I wouldn't say that the danger is overrated, since it is possibly lethal, but most serious poisoning cases are from people ingesting *many, many* seeds trying to get a 'trip'. I would panic if I saw a two year old or a dog chowing down on the seed pods though.

BP

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 1:28PM
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ianna(Z5b)

Morning glories are used by shamans in South America to produce hallucegenic reactions. I'm more concerned of long term damage to one's internal organs -most especially kidneys and livers. Damage can take years before it becomes apparent.

Back in Asia we did eat sweet potato leaves for salads but I;m afraid the ornamental varieties here do not seem to be the same and I would much rather be on teh safe side of not eating it.

Ianna

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 4:29PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

That's true - the effects of chronic versus acute exposure can be very different for many things. But I would never eat morning glory seeds in any quantity, so I don't worry about it. I think most adults would avoid eating them too, and those that do, rarely eat them more than once - supposedly they are not a 'pleasant high'. But, it takes all kinds... :-)

What did sweet potato leaves taste like? I don't usually grow enough that I would want to pick off all the leaves, especially since this is so far north for them (I barely get any sweet potatoes out of them - I grow them just for fun). I might start a few extra slips next year though, if they're good.

BP

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 5:29PM
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ianna(Z5b)

I wasn't too impressed by the taste of sweet potato leaves. Rather bland I would say and certainly I wouldn't miss it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 9:52AM
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shady(Canada)

I've never seen one flower. I didn't know they did.

Shade

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 11:33AM
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summer(ON)

BP,

That one is growing in a 6" pot in full sun in windy conditions as it's on the post of a pergola. As I said, it's the first time I've seen a flower, ever. I grow them because I like the leaf colour & as a filler with other flowers.

Ianna,

As much as I love all kinds of unusual greens & vegetables, many of which I grow, I do not eat the leaves or tubers of this plant, nor do I intend to. The advice you gave about researching before consuming plants is valid.

Summer

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 6:13PM
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weezi(z5b/6a Toronto ON)

I agree with the advice about researching before you try to consume anything.

I should add, however, that last year I grew 10 Marguerite ornamental sweet potato vines that I got from Loblaws - they grew like crazy and took over most of my garden, so I had to keep cutting them back, and in the process I realized that they were growing big tubers. At the end of the season, I pulled them up, and lo and behold, I had at least 5 ENORMOUS tubers (about 4 to 5 inches in diameter and 8 to 10 inches long) and many more smaller ones, which were nevertheless about the size of a sweet potato you'd get in the grocery store. I'd read that they were edible, so I gave some to a neighbour and some to my mother, and we ate the rest (just boiled up and then sliced; my mother microwaved hers). They were delicious!

If they didn't take over my garden so much, I'd be tempted to grow them again - I had a lot of compliments on my garden last year from neighbours and passers-by. Mind you, I had very rich soil in there (maybe not so rich anymore) because it was a raised bed entirely filled with new 4-way mix. The two I had in a container only produced tiny tubers not worth eating.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 9:43AM
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