Wild Potato Guide

This aspires to be a guide to growing and using potato species other than the domesticated potato, Solanum tuberosum. There are a large number of wild potato species.  The last comprehensive treatment of S. tuberosum section Petota identified 232 species.  Genetic analysis has since reduced the number to 188 and it is likely that there will be further consolidation. Wild potato species are not often cultivated and very little is known about most of them. While they are often used in potato breeding, little effort has been put into improving them individually.

To my way of thinking, this is a great opportunity for hobbyist breeders. Anyone with interest could easily choose to adopt a wild potato species and become an expert on its cultivation and breeding. By working on each species, it would be possible to produce improved varieties. By improving size and reducing glycoalkaloid content, for example, it might be possible to introduce new species to more widespread cultivation. Improved varieties might also be used more effectively to introduce traits through breeding with S. tuberosum.

The greatest barrier to this is simply figuring out where to start. While there is abundant scientific literature about wild potato species, it is rarely summarized and is difficult for amateurs to access. I started the wild potato project in 2015 with the goal of producing summary information about each species, growing them to determine the essential details of cultivation, and taking good pictures of each species (which are almost always more useful to amateurs than botanical descriptions). I have since added the goal of making crosses, either directly or through bridge species, to S. tuberosum so that we can show what the results of first generation crosses look like.

This project is likely to take several years to complete, but I hope that when we’re done, we will have a small encyclopedia of wild species that will serve as a guide for amateur cultivation and breeding. Most of the species profiles are currently incomplete, but the details are filling in as time goes on.

Species that do not link to a profile are currently unavailable in the USA, or at least I have been unable to obtain them. I will add them in the future if I am able to find them.

Germplasm supplied by the USDA Potato Introduction Station was used in the production of these guides.

Species Geographical Group Taxonomic Group Ploidy EBN
S. acaule South American   Tetraploid 2
S. acroglossum South American
  Diploid 2
S. acroscopicum South American   Diploid ?
S. x aemulans South American   Tetraploid 2
S. agrimonifolium North American
  Tetraploid 4
S. ajanhuiri South American   Diploid ?
S. albicans South American   Hexaploid 4
S. albornozii South American   Diploid 2
S. anamatophilum South American   Diploid 2
S. andreanum South American   Diploid, Triploid 2
S. aracc-papa South American   ? ?
S. augustii South American   Diploid 1
S. ayacuchense South American   Diploid 2
S. berthaultii South American   Diploid 2
S. blanco-galdosii South American   Diploid 2
S. boliviense South American   Diploid 2
S. bombycinum South American   Tetraploid ?
S. brevicaule South American   Diploid 2
S. brucheri South American   ? ?
S. buesii South American   Diploid 2
S. bulbocastanum North American   Diploid 1
S. burkartii South American   Diploid ?
S. cajamarquense South American   Diploid ?
S. candolleanum South American   Diploid 2
S. cantense South American   Diploid ?
S. cardiophyllum North American   Diploid 1
S. chacoense South American   Diploid, Triploid 2
S. chilliasense South American   Diploid ?
S. chiquidenum South American   Diploid ?
S. chomatophilum South American   Diploid ?
S. clarum North American   Diploid ?
S. colombianum South American   Diploid, Tetraploid 2
S. commersonii South American   Diploid 1
S. contumazaense South American   Diploid 2
S. curtilobum South American   Pentaploid 4
S. demissum North American   Hexaploid 4
S. doddsii South American   ? ?
S. dolichocremastrum South American   Diploid 1
S. edinense North American   ? ?
S. ehrenbergii North American   Diploid 1
S. flahaultii South American   Tetraploid ?
S. gandarillasii South American   Diploid ?
S. garcia-barrigae South American   Tetraploid ?
S. gracilifrons South American   Diploid ?
S. guerreroense North American   Hexaploid ?
S. hastiforme South American   Diploid ?
S. hintonii North American   Diploid ?
S. hjertingii North American   Tetraploid ?
S. hougasii North American   Hexaploid ?
S. huancabambense South American   Diploid 2
S. humectophilum South American   Diploid 1
S. hypacrarthrum South American   Diploid 1
S. immite South American   Diploid 1
S. incasicum South American   Diploid 2
S. infundibuliforme South American   Diploid 2
S. iopetalum North American   Hexaploid 2
S. jamesii North American   Diploid 1
S. juzepczukii South American   Triploid 2
S. kurtzianum South American   Diploid 2
S. laxissimum South American   Diploid 2
S. lesteri North American   Diploid ?
S. lignicaule South American   Diploid 1
S. limbaniense South American   Diploid 2
S. lobbianum South American   Tetraploid 2
S. longiconicum North American   Tetraploid ?
S. maglia South American   Diploid, Triploid 2
S. malmeanum South American   Diploid 1
S. medians South American   Diploid, Triploid 2
S. michoacanum North American   Diploid ?
S. microdontum South American   Diploid 2
S. minutifoliolum South American   Diploid 1
S. mochiquense South American   Diploid 1
S. morelliforme North American   Diploid ?
S. multiinterruptum South American   Diploid 2
S. neorossi South American   Diploid ?
S. neoweberbaueri South American   ? ?
S. nubicola South American   Tetraploid 2
S. okadae South American   Diploid ?
S. olmosense South American   Diploid 2
S. oxycarpum North American   Tetraploid 2
S. paucissectum South American   Diploid 2
S. pillahuatense South American   Diploid 2
S. pinnatisectum North American   Diploid 1
S. piurae South American   Diploid 2
S. polyadenium North American   Diploid 2
S. raphanifolium South American   Diploid 2
S. raquialatum South American   Diploid 1
S. x rechei South American   Diploid  
S. rhomboideilanceolatum South American   Diploid 2
S. salasianum South American   Diploid  
S. x sambucinum North American   Diploid  
S. scabrifolium South American   Diploid  
S. schenkii North American   Hexaploid 4
S. simplicissimum South American   Diploid 1
S. sogarandinum South American   Diploid  
S. stenophyllidium North American   Diploid 1
S. stipuloideum South American   Diploid 1
S. stoloniferum North American   Tetraploid 2
S. tarnii North American   Diploid  
S. trifidum North American   Diploid 1
S. x vallis-mexici North American      
S. venturii South American   Diploid 2
S. vernei South American   ? ?
S. verrucosum North American   Diploid 2
S. violaceimarmoratum South American   Diploid 2
S. wittmackii South American   Diploid 1
S. woodsonii North American   Tetraploid 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *