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Solanum microdontum

Common Name(s)Papa de zorro
Tubers of the wild potato species Solanum microdontum
Solanum microdontum tubers
SynonymsS. gigantophyllum, S. simplicifolium
PloidyDiploid (2x)
Cytoplasm Type 
Bitter: Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 10: 535. 1912.


Solanum microdontum distribution map
Solanum microdontum distribution map

Solanum microdontum (microdontum means “small teeth”) is primarily a Bolivian species, extending into northern Argentina.  Plants up to three feet tall.  Stolons three feet long or more.  Tubers small, less than an inch, round, light gray purple.  Flowers white to light purple.  Berries round, a bit less than an inch in diameter.

This species can survive frosts down to 27 degrees F (-3 C) (Li 1977).  Vega (1995) found that this species is less frost tolerant than domesticated potato.

Kiszonas (2010) measured the tuber pH of wild potato species and found that S. microdontum has the lowest pH measured at 5.59.  It is not known if tuber pH has any agronomic significance.

Some accessions of this species are resistant to tuber greening.

ConditionLevel of ResistanceSource
Late BlightSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
WartSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
Bacterial WiltSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
Soft Rot / BlacklegSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
Potato Leaf Roll VirusSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
AphidsSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
Root Knot NematodeSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
HeatSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
DroughtSomewhat resistantMachida-Hirano 2015
Potato Virus YSomewhat resistantChung 2011

Glykoalkaloid content


Solanum microdontum plant
Solanum microdontum plant
Solanum microdontum plant
Solanum microdontum plant
Solanum microdontum flower
Solanum microdontum flower
Solanum microdontum flowers
Solanum microdontum flowers


I have found seeds of this species easy to germinate using the standard conditions for S. tuberosum.  The hypocotyls of this species are dark red/purple.

Bamberg (1995) found that at least some accessions of S. microdontum flower better at high temperatures than under typical temperate growing conditions.  Flowering was better when greenhouse temperatures exceeded 100 degrees F for several hours during the day.

Bamberg (2017) found a 158% increase in seed set in this species with supplemental applications of liquid fertilizer at four and seven weeks after potting.


Crosses with S. tuberosum

FemaleMaleBerry SetSeed SetGerminationPloidySource
S. tuberosumS. microdontumLowLow  Jackson (1999)
S. microdontumS. tuberosumNoneNone  Jackson (1999)

Crosses with other species

Jackson (1999) found 4-30% 2n pollen in varieties of this species.

FemaleMaleBerry SetSeed SetGerminationPloidySource


Solanum microdontum at Solanaceae Source

Solanum microdontum at GRIN Taxonomy

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