|This variety is offered intermittently – once every two or three years.|
Azul Luk’i is a variety of Solanum juzepczukii, a frost resistant triploid potato species grown at the upper limits of cultivation in Bolivia and Peru. In our trial of the available accesions of this species, this variety did the best, producing the largest yields and surviving heavier frosts than any other domesticated potato. Azul Luk’i was provided by the USDA Potato Introduction Station as PI 595438. I plan to offer this variety indefinitely as our representative of S. juzepczukii. This is a low demand item and I grow a very small amount.
Azul Luk’i is a bitter potato, as is normal for this species. In the Andes, this species is most often used in a preserved, freeze-dried form. This variety is not extremely bitter and I have eaten moderate amounts without any trouble, but bitter potatoes are higher in glycoalkaloid content and could make you sick if you overindulge. This is more a potato to grow as a curiosity than as a food crop.
Plants are smaller than tetraploid potatoes, with fine foliage similar to many diploids. The plants make large number of small, purple flowers, but these very rarely form berries since this species is triploid. The tubers are formed in the short days of fall, so this variety is best harvested no earlier than November. At that point, yields are typically in the range of two to three pounds. Plants survive light frosts and overnight temperatures into the upper 20s. Tubers have very long dormancy,