Return to Wild Potato Index

Solanum brevicaule

Common Name(s) Alcco papa, Apharuma, Atoc papa, Charca, C’kita papa, Ckascke, Jamach’i ch’ogue, Jamppatu papa, Llutu arac, Llutu papa, Papa de Perdiz, Papa de Zorro, Piscco papa A mature Solanum brevicaule plant at the beginning of flowering. The leaves are similar to domesticated potato, broadly oval and dark green. The flowers are purple with yellow anthers.
Code brc
Synonyms S. alandiae, S. anomalocalyx, S. avilesii, S. boliviense subsp. virgultorum, S. brevimucronatum, S. candelarianum, S. famatinae, S. gourlayi, S. hondelmannii, S. hoopesii, S. incamayoense, S. lapazense, S. leptophyes, S. liriunianum, S. oplocense, S. pachytrichum, S. setulosistylum, S. sparsipilum, S. spegazzinii, S. subandigenum, S. sucrense, S. tuberosum subsp. sparsipilum, S. ugentii, S. vidaurrei, S. virgultorum
Clade 4
Series Tuberosum
Ploidy Diploid (2x), Tetraploid (4x), Hexaploid (6x)
EBN 2
Self-compatible No
Cytoplasm Type  

Description

Primarily distributed from southern Peru to central Bolivia.  Plants reach about two feet tall, occasionally up to three feet.  Stolons reach 3-4 feet long, perhaps as long as six feet in some cases (Ochoa 1990, as S. sparsipilum).  Tubers round to ovate, one to two inches long, larger in cultivation.  Flowers light blue to dark blue.  Berries round to ovate, typically speckled.  Found up to about the 13,000 foot elevation, but mostly lower.  Often grows in dry environments and has good drought resistance.

Solanum brevicaule is a geographically and morphologically diverse species.  Boundaries between it and its nearest relatives are uncertain.  Twenty species, including diploids, tetraploids, and hexaploids, are often lumped together in a “Solanum brevicaule Complex.”  Van den Berg (1998) and Alvarez (2008) performed comprehensive morphological studies of the species in the S. brevicaule Complex and found little basis for division into more than three species, but inconclusive evidence even for that.  The future probably holds additional taxonomic consolidation of S. brevicaule and its closest relatives.

This species can survive frosts down to 26 degrees F (-3.5 C) (Li 1977, as S. fendleri).  It has a dormancy period lasting several months.

S. brevicaule is probably not safe to eat, other than in very small amounts and perhaps not even then.  The lines that we have grown here and tasted have dry flesh and thick, chewy skin with a strong flavor characteristic of baking potatoes, but an intensely bitter aftertaste.

Condition Level of Resistance Source
Frost Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Potato Leaf Roll Virus Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Colorado Potato Beetle Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Potato Cyst Nematode Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Root Knot Nematode Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Wart Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. leptophyes)
Soft Rot / Blackleg Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. leptophyes)
Potato Virus X Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. leptophyes)
Aphids Resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. palustre)
Potato Virus X Resistant Horvath 1989 (as S. alandiae)
Potato Virus Y Resistant Horvath 1989 (as S. alandiae)
Tobacco Rattle Virus Resistant Horvath 1989 (as S. alandiae)
Potato Leafroll Virus Somewhat resistant Ochoa 1990 (as S. leptophyes)
Rhizoctonia solani Somewhat resistant Ochoa 1990 (as S. leptophyes)

Glykoalkaloid content

Johns (1990) found glykoalkaloid levels of 23mg/100g to 164mg/100g for eight accessions of S. brevicaule (some as S. sparsipilum).  The primary glycoalkaloids were solanine and chaconine. Van Gelder (1988) found TGA levels ranging from 95 to 175 mg / 100 g for S. brevicaule, 113 to 163 as S. gourlayi, 71 to 135 mg / 100g as S. leptophyes, 40 to 60 mg / 100 g as S. oplocense, 17 to 220 as S. spegazzinii, and 77 to 156 as S. sucrense.  Collapsing all the synonyms gives a total range of 17 to 220 mg / 100 g.  This is is a large range, with some flirting with edibility but many clearly in the danger zone.

Images

S. brevicaule tubers, mixed lines
Large S. brevicaule tubers
S. brevicaule seedling
S. brevicaule mature plant
S. brevicaule mature plants
S. brevicaule pollen
S. brevicaule flower
S. brevicaule inflorescence
S. brevicaule berries and average sized tubers
     

Cultivation

I have found seeds of this species easy to germinate using the standard conditions for S. tuberosum, although sometimes slow.

Due to the length of the stolons, most growers will want to contain the plants in some way.  We grow wild potatoes with long stolons in buried fabric pots, which prevents them from getting out of control.  A 5 gallon fabric pot works well for most wild potatoes.

The USDA potato genebank has observed that some accessions of this species are dependent upon GA3 for germination (Bamberg 1999).

Bamberg (2017) found a 86% increase in seed set in this species with supplemental applications of liquid fertilizer at four and seven weeks after potting.

Breeding

Crosses with S. tuberosum

Female Male Berry Set Seed Set Germination Ploidy Source
S. tuberosum S. brevicaule Low Minimal     Jackson (1999)
S. brevicaule S. tuberosum None None     Jackson (1999)
S. brevicaule 2x S. tuberosum Moderate Moderate     Ochoa 1990

Crosses with other species

Jackson (1999) found 4-12% 2n pollen in varieties of this species.

Female Male Berry Set Seed Set Germination Ploidy Source
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. berthaultii High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. boliviense High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule S. candolleanum High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule S. infundibuliforme Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. microdontum Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. infundibuliforme S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. microdontum S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. acaule Moderate Moderate     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. huancabambense High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. raquialatum High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule S. raphanifolium High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. chacoense Yes Yes     Ochoa 1990
S. acaule S. brevicaule High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. leptophyes) S. neovavilovii Moderate Moderate     Ochoa 1990
S. berthaultii (as S. tarijense) S. brevicaule (as S. leptophyes) Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. boliviense (as S. megistacrolobum) S. brevicaule (as S. leptophyes) Yes No     Ochoa 1990

Leave a Reply