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Solanum ehrenbergii

Common Name(s)Cimatli
SynonymsS. cardiophyllum subsp. ehrenbergii
PloidyDiploid (2x)
Tuberization Photoperiod
Day neutral
Cytoplasm Type 
Rydberg: Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 51: 169. 1924.


Solanum ehrenbergii distribution Map note

Solanum ehrenbergii (ehrenbergii, in honor of German botanist Carl August Ehrenberg) is a widespread species in central Mexico.  It is commonly known as cimatli, along with the closely related S. cardiophyllum.  Plants take a variety of forms, from low growing rosettes to tall and erect, reaching a maximum height of about two feet.

Sotelo (1998) studied the nutrition of S. ehrenbergii and found that the accessions they studied have a protein content about the same as the domesticated potato and a vitamin C level of 2.36mg / 100g, much lower than the domesticated potato.

Some accessions of S. ehrenbergii appear to be edible and there was at least one farm that was growing S. cardiophyllum, S. ehrenbergii, and S. stoloniferum for market in Jalisco as recently as 2010 (Villa Vazquez 2010).


This species can survive frosts down to 27 degrees F (-3 C) (Li 1977, as S. cardiophyllum).

ConditionTypeLevel of ResistanceSource
Potato Virus YVirusSomewhat ResistantChung 2011

Glykoalkaloid content

Johns (1990) found that the primary glycoalkaloid of this species is demissine and a very low concentration of only about 2mg/100g.  On the other hand, Sotelo (1998) found a level of 108mg / 100g for solanine and chaconine, a level far into the danger zone.  So, some accessions of S. ehrenbergii may be as safe to consume as domesticated potatoes, while others are dangerous.  Caution is always warranted when trying new varieties of any wild potato species.


Solanum ehrenbergii plant
Solanum ehrenbergii plant
Flower of the wild potato species Solanum ehrenbergii
Solanum ehrenbergii flower


I have found this species difficult to germinate.  It may require conditions different than the standard for S. tuberosum.

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


Crosses with S. tuberosum

FemaleMaleBerry Set
Seed SetGermPloidySource

Crosses with other species

FemaleMaleBerry Set
Seed SetGermPloidySource


Solanum ehrenbergii at Solanaceae Source

Solanum ehrenbergii at GRIN Taxonomy

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