I just pulled my vines ( ornamental Blackie/margarite ) for the winter. I have loads of potatoes..can you eat these ones? I have no idea. Sounds like a dumb question but I just had to ask.
I can't imagine that you couldn't eat them. Sweet potatoes are sweet potatoes (and edible). Between varieties there is great variation on flavor and texture. It would be great to get a report from you once you've tried them. Just be sure to cure them a few days in a warm place before cooking. This improves their sweetness.
curious question penny,
this is what i saw after googling the topic:
"The ornamental sweet potatos (Ipomoea batatas) are fast growing, twining vines with palmately lobed leaves. These showy forms produce a tuberous root identical in appearance to the common (green leaved) sweet potato but probably not tasty.
Three types are of ornamental sweet potato are cultivated for annual, summer vines: 'Blackie' with dark purple, nearly black foliage; 'Margarita' with chartreuse leaves; and 'Tricolor' with pale green, white and pink margined leaves. 'Blackie' and 'Margarita' come back with the same color foliage as the mother plant, but 'Tricolor' may revert to green."
here's a quote from another site:
"This week's Reiman's Pick, the sweet potato vine, is an ornamental that earned its way out of the vegetable garden. Sweet potato vine, Ipomoea batatas, is a true sweet potato complete with tubers, but has bolder, more colorful foliage than its vegetable sibling. Unfortunately, it is either beauty or bounty with ornamental sweet potatoes because the underground tubers are bitter and not considered edible."
might be best to grow regular sweeties if you want something to eat hey?
Here is a link that might be useful: len's garden page
Thank you so much for the wonderful information. Ok..I won't eat them BUT can I keep them and grow them for next year? LOL Just had to put this out there. Len and George you have been great. Thanks again.
Sweet potatoes, even those that are grown solely for eating, vary widely in flavor and texture. Certainly ornamentals did not use culinary considerations in development. Non- the - less you will not know whether you want to eat them until you try one. I totally agree with George, try one and let us know since you have an ample supply. Most ornamentals do not yield well. Certainly you can use to propagate more plants next year.
"Most ornamentals do not yield well. "
This is what I've heard, as well...
Penny, if your sweet potatoes taste good, maybe you could save some to plant next year, and keep selecting for the plants which taste best. Then you'll have an ornamental with tasty taters!
The sweet potatoes from the green margarita are good. I eat lots of them. I don't know anything about Blackie. There certainly is a lot of silly information on the web about their eating qualities.
I once grew Margarita with my other sweet potatoes. It didn't yield enough for a taste (back in NJ where I struggled to get enough sunlight). In light of Robert's experience, I'd conclude that there can be wide variation in experiences, growing these. I will try it again!
this is my very first time planting sweet potatoes. I truly had no idea they had vines until I was weeding my garden today. I have the variety tag with the plant so I can't say right now (dark). My question is how do i know when it is the right time to dig them up? How should I tend to the vines? Can I let them grow up on a trellis or fence so they won't "strangle" my other vegetables? Thanks for the help