We have over 100,000 visitors each month, but in the whole of 2013 less than £1,000 was raised from donations. We rely on donations and cannot continue to maintain our database and website unless this increases considerably in 2014. Please make a donation today. More information on our financial position >>>
Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
   
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

Ipomoea batatas - (L.)Poir.                
                 
Common Name Sweet Potato, Black Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Vine
Family Convolvulaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Derived in cultivation, probably from Ipomoea trifida, this species is not known in a truly wild situation.
Range Pantropical.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       
Main Bloom Time: Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Spreading or horizontal.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Ipomoea batatas is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 3 m (9ft 10in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

USDA hardiness zone : 9-10


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Ipomoea batatas Sweet Potato, Black Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Vine


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Pollinator
Ipomoea batatas Sweet Potato, Black Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato Vine
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Miya
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - cooked[200]. Sweet and fleshy, it is a delicious staple food and is also very nutritious providing a rich source of vitamins and minerals[200, K]. There are cultivars with soft, moist flesh and also forms with a more dry flesh[200]. There are also less sweet cultivars, bred for industrial production of starch[200]. In order for the roots to store through the winter, they need to be cured in the sunshine at temperatures around 25°c fr about a week before being stored at around 14°c[264]. Young shoot tips[264].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Biomass.

The root is a source of starch[200].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Arbor, Container, Ground cover, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained, sandy loam soil and requires a sunny position[200, 264]. Ample potash in the soil is essential for a good crop[264]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5[200]. A low humidity as the plants reach maturity is beneficial[200]. Plants are not frost hardy and can only be grown in areas where at least 3 months of frost-free conditions can be supplied. They grow best in a temperature range of 22 - 25°c[200] and can mature a crop within 2 months in tropical areas, though at least three months are required in sub-tropical regions[264]. The sweet potato was developed in cultivation, probably from the central American species Ipomoea trifida (HBK.)D.Don[264]. It is widely grown in tropical regions as a staple root crop and also as an industrial source of starch[200]. It can also be grown in sub-tropical areas, but is not generally suited for temperate regions. However, a cultivar 'Beauregard' has been introduced than can produce reasonable yields in the temperate zone, though even this cultivar will require the extra warmth prvided by a cold frame or cold greenhouse if it is to produce well[200]. A scrambling or climbing plant, when the stems lay along the soil they will root and form tubers[264]. A short-day plant, it requires less than 11 hours of sunlight per day to initiate flowering[200]. However, day length variation appears to have little effect upon tuber production[200]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
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 22°c. 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[200]. Stem cuttings obtained from terminal shoots[200]. Remove the lower leaves and insert the cuttings to half their depth in individual pots.
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(L.)Poir.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[264]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Vegetables
Excellent and easily read book with good information and an excellent collection of photos of vegetables from around the world, including many unusual species.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
K. Otto Wed Nov 9 2005
pictures would be nice to be able to varify edibility
Elizabeth H.
Lily Sun May 14 2006
I have just bought this as a plant and will be interested to see hwo it grows for me in SW France.
Elizabeth H.
Valerie Sun Jun 25 2006
I have been told by my Vietnamese friends that they eat the leaves as a vegetable. This site doesn't say anything about eating the leaves; mentions only the root.
Elizabeth H.
Thu Jun 21 2007
I have just conducted a survey in South Africa and according to that the Zulu people, living in the eastern province eat Sweet Potato leaves as a relish with their traditional mealie meal (maize porridge). But also in many other african countries ipomoea batatas leaves are considered as a delicious vegetable (leafy indigenous vegetables)
Elizabeth H.
Cavan Mejias Wed Dec 26 2007
You should investigate promotion of the consumption of the leaves of this plant in the west indies, in light of rising food prices
Elizabeth H.
Ann Lamb Thu Aug 30 2007
I have never heard of sweet potato seeds before, although I have seen the blooms on my plants. All the sweet potato references in my library cite vegetative propagation. Where would one get sweet potato seed?
Elizabeth H.
anne geddes shalit Tue Feb 19 2008
I thinkk Ipomea is useful for diabetes. I thought it wasgood for diabetics because it has inulin instead of starch but the first site I looked at had another reason http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/27/2/436 and other sites I looked at inulin and diabetes. The Wikepedia entry on inulin seems to confirm that Ipomoea is used to treat diabetes because of the inulin. There is a list at the end of the article of several other plants containing inulin

Efficacy of Ipomoea batatas (Caiapo) on Diabetes Control in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects Treated With Diet 2) wikepedia there are lots of articles, search words ipomea diabetes

Elizabeth H.
AMUL CHAHAR Fri Feb 20 2009
what r dose and rout ofadminstriation in mice for prevent diabetis ?
Elizabeth H.
Sun Mar 1 2009
Ipomoea aquatica - great food plant not included in your db
Elizabeth H.
patty Sat Jun 6 2009
i have eaten leaves and petioles up to 2 feet back from the growing tips. they are delicious just sauteed or boiled a few minutes. i have read to eat only the newly opening leaves. does anyone know why older leaves cannot be eaten, even if they have to be cooked longer? i am in new england and have only a 140 day growing season. why not harvest all those leaves before digging up the roots?
Elizabeth H.
David (volunteer) Sat Jun 6 2009
Can't give a conclusive answer, I was reading about the leaves being edible in "Organic New Zealand" magazine, they just sat say leaves are edible, no mention of young leaves, they recommend simmering in coconut cream. Usually young leaves are recommended simply because older leaves are judged too tough, boiling etc msay reduce that. I've never heard of a plant with leaves that become poisonous as they mature, I suppose it's remotely possible in this case,but I'd eat them.
Elizabeth H.
David Sat Jun 6 2009
I've just noticed the same source quoted above says in regard to Sweet potato leaves "as with any greens, the young leaves tend to be tastier and tenderer than the mature leaves"
Elizabeth H.
Sat Jul 18 2009
Ann Lamb asked "Where would one get sweet potato seed?" I believe that this is the same as true seed from regular potato. when the plant flowers it will produce a 'fruit' if it is pollinated (regular potatoes look like tomato fruit inedible and full of seeds)
Elizabeth H.
Melissa Thu Nov 19 2009
Is this the white fleshed tropical variety, or the orange fleshed 'thanksgiving' sweet potato or yam? Is there any info about eating either raw? Someone just told me they should be cooked, always.
Elizabeth H.
David Thu Nov 19 2009
www.healthy.net/scr/mmedica.asp?Id=138&MTId=8 - , a site on raw food, says Ipmoea batatas can be eaten raw, aside from this all my references say it is cooked, possibly just because it is not that palatable raw, I can't find any references to it being toxic, except when rotten. I understand at least 2 different tubers are called Yams in America, the other one, Dioscorea, is definitely bitter and toxic raw, so make certain you know which is which! I expect there are good photos on the net.
Leha C.
May 6 2011 12:00AM
I eat the older leaves as well as the younger. You don't have to cook them that long--I just stir-fry. The Wikipedia page makes reference to an African use of dehydrated crushed sweet potato root, so I assume this means they are eating them raw (but dried). Both the orange and the white-fleshed types of sweet potato sold in the USA are Ipomoea batatas. The other type is of African descent, and is not generally available in the US. I grow them from the root here in the North Bay Area of California. You can sprout the roots in a mason jar like an avocado pit (with toothpicks stuck in the sides, to hold the top half out of the water), or, like me, just stick it in a jar that's half full. If you start them in the winter or early spring they will be ready to plant out after frosts have passed. Or you can do what I do, which is to use the central tuber from the fall harvest for the next year's plant. It will happily sprout leaves and roots all winter long, given adequate water and a sunny window. Then, when you plant these out, they will have long vines already grown. Strip off some leaves at various locations along the vine and bury the stripped part. It will take root. Okay, my question: I would like to know an effective way of making sweet potato flour--preferably raw, so I can use it as a thickener. I've found that dehydrated pieces of sweet potato turn harder than PVC, and I can't get them through my grinder like that. Is there a way to pulverize the wet flesh before drying them, so that the dried bits are small/soft enough to grind (without actually having to pound them with a rock or something)? Thanks!
Leha C.
Toxic substances and antinutritional factors May 6 2011 12:00AM
Okay, I just found this, from FAO, which suggests raw sweet potato might not be such a good thing to eat, because it contains a high amount of an anti-nutritional factor.
FAO -- Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in human nutrition
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Rate This Plant                                         
Please rate this plants for how successful you have found it to be. You will need to be logged in to do this. Our intention is not to create a list of 'popular' plants but rather to highlight plants that may be rare and unusual and that have been found to be useful by website users. This hopefully will encourage more people to use plants that they possibly would not have considered before.
     
                                                                                 
Add a comment/link                                         

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

Subject : Ipomoea batatas  
             

Links To add a link to another website with useful info add the details here
Name of Site
URL of Site
Details