This page is a draft, part of our ongoing wild potato project. I’ll probably be adding information to the species pages through 2020 at least, but I’m making them public since they may be useful even incomplete.

Solanum lesteri

Common Name(s):

Synonyms: none

Series: Polyadenia

EBN: Unknown (probably 1EBN)

Ploidy: Diploid

Segregation: Disomic

Self-compatible: No

Cytoplasm Type: Unknown


Solanum lesteri (lesteri, in honor of Richard N. Lester, the British botanist who first collected the species) is a woodland plant, native to Mexico, where is is known only from Oaxaca.  Plants range from just over a foot to about 4.5 feet tall.  Fruits long and severely pointed.  Leaves are densely covered with glandular hairs.

This species can survive frosts down to 27.5 degrees F (-2.5 C) (Li 1977).  Vega (1995) found that this species is less frost tolerant than domesticated potato.

Condition Level of Resistance Source

Glykoalkaloid content


I have found seeds of this species easy to germinate using the standard conditions for S. tuberosum.  Seedlings are large and robust compared to most wild species and domesticated varieties.


Crosses with S. tuberosum

Female Male Berry Set Seed Set Germination Ploidy Source
S. tuberosum S. lesteri Minimal None     Jackson (1999)
S. lesteri S. tuberosum None None     Jackson (1999)

Crosses with other species

Watanabe (1991) found that 6.3% (which was only 1 plant) of varieties of this species produced 2n pollen and Jackson (1999) found 2-13%, which would be effectively tetraploid and probably 2EBN.

Female Male Berry Set Seed Set Germination Ploidy Source

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