T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Solanum tuberosum (Potato)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. tuberosum
Binomial name: Solanum tuberosum
Common name: Potato
Maori names: rīwai, hīwai, parareka, kapana

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum. Solanum tuberosum was originally from the Andes in the area of present-day southern Peru and the extreme north-western area of Bolivia. The potato was probably first introduced to New Zealand by Captain Cook. In New Zealand, they are grown commercially and in many home gardens. In some areas, it can be found growing wild due to the dumping of garden waste that contained tubers.

Potatoes like other plants of the genus Solanum contain toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine. These compounds, which protect the plant from its predators, are, in general, concentrated in its leaves, stems, sprouts, fruits and are in small concentrations in the tubers. A normal tuber has 12–20 mg/kg of glycoalkaloid content while a green tuber contains 250–280 mg/kg, and the tuber’s green skin contains 1500–2200 mg/kg. Hence green tubers should not be consumed. 


The potato flowers are usually white but can be violet.in colour.

The toxic green potato tuber.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/