Return to Wild Potato IndexPurchase tubers of Solanum ajanhuiri

Solanum ajanhuiri

Common Name(s)YariA black and white photo of a tray of Solanum brevicaule tubers. They are about 1 to 2 inches long, oval, and similar in form to baking potatoes.
SynonymsSolanum x ajanhuiri
PloidyDiploid (2x)
Tuberization PhotoperiodShort day
Cytoplasm TypeP
Bukasov: Trudy Vsesoyuzn. S”ezda Gen. Selekts. Semenov. Plemen. Zhivotnov.3: 603. 1929.


Solanum ajanhuiri distribution map
Solanum ajanhuiri distribution map

S. ajanhuiri (ajanhuri is a Latinization of the native name ajawiri) is perhaps better included among the cultivated species than the wild, but as a wild species hybrid, the dividing line isn’t entirely clear.  This species is treated more like a wild species in breeding programs.

This species is cultivated primarily in the Bolivian and Peruvian altiplano, where it is valuable for its early bearing and frost resistance.  Plants grow about 14 to 18 inches tall, although some take a more wild-type rosette form.  Most varieties have blue skin and some have blue flesh, less commonly white skin and yellow flesh.  Flowers dark blue or less commonly white.  Berries, round, small, less than an inch, but are uncommon unless the plant is pollinated by a compatible wild species, such as S. boliviense.

The origin of S. ajanhuiri is believed to be as a hybrid between diploid S. tuberosum subsp. andigenum (S. stenotomum) and S. boliviense.  This is a contrast to the other frost resistant highland species, S. juzepczukii and S. curtilobum, which arose from crosses and backcrosses between S. tuberosum ssp. andigenum and S. acaule.  Some varieties of S. ajanhuiri may have been produced by backcrosses with either of the parent species.

Unlike the other frost resistant hybrid species, S. juzepczukii and S. curtilobum, S. ajanhuiri does not have high glycoalkaloids and can generally be eaten without processing (Ochoa 1990).


S. ajanhuiri appears to have frost resistance that is nearly the equal of S. acaule, down to at least 23 degrees F and perhaps as low as 21.

ConditionTypeLevel of ResistanceSource
 FrostAbioticSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
 DroughtAbioticSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
 Potato Virus XVirusSomewhat resistantOchoa 1990

Glykoalkaloid content

Osman (1978) found a TGA level of 7.1 mg /100 g for a single accession of this species.  Because the putative parent species S. boliviense is high in glycoalkaloids, it is probably not safe to assume that all varieties have levels this low, but S. ajanhuiri is generally considered safe to eat without processing.

Johns 1986b tested wild, weedy collections of S. ajanhuiri and found a range of 4 to 12 mg / 100 g.  In different accessions, the primary glycoalkaloids were either solamarine or commersonine and tomatine.  They also tested two domesticated clones and found levels of 10.5 and 13 mg / 100 g.  The domesticated clones had primary glycoalkaloid compositions of either solamarine or solanine and chaconine.  So, it seems that the glycoalkaloid composition of S. ajanhuiri is rather unpredictable.




I have found cultivation of this species to be essentially the same as for other domesticated Andean potatoes (S. tuberosum subsp. andigenum).

This species is propagated almost exclusively from tubers.  With hand pollination, it is occasionally possible to get a little true seed, but never enough to make it a practical means of propagation.

All varieties are noted to be significantly male sterile, but not completely.  Seed has been obtained from crosses between different varieties of S. ajanhuiri.


Crosses with S. tuberosum

FemaleMaleBerry Set
Seed SetGermPloidySource

Crosses with other species

FemaleMaleBerry Set
Seed SetGermPloidySource


Solanum ajanhuiri at Solanaceae Source

Solanum ajanhuiri at GRIN Taxonomy

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