Muru is a modern tetraploid variety, introduced in 1987 from a cooperative breeding program between the International Potato Center and the National Agrarian University La Molina. It was produced from a cross of a numbered breeding line (XY14.7) and Renacimiento. It is a bicolor potato with blue skin with white spectacles. Muru was a popular variety in South America due to its resistance to multiple diseases, including late blight, but it no longer has comprehensive resistance. The name ‘Muru’ is the Quechua word for seed.
My picture of this variety is poor. I grew only a few plants this year and had to plant them late following a change of plans. Tubers typically reach twice the size of those in the picture.
Muru has excellent flavor and a moist, creamy texture. The skin is thick and rather chewy. Muru is a good choice for use as a salad potato and also makes an excellent roasted potato.
Plants are large with a late maturity. The stolons can grow pretty long, reaching around 16 inches. Grown to full maturity, which won’t happen any sooner than late November in most of North America, per plant yields often exceed five pounds. Tubers frequently reach eight inches, but the average tuber size is smaller. Muru produces a wide distribution of tuber sizes, with as many small potatoes as large. One of the downsides of this variety is that volunteers can be hard to control due to the large number of smaller tubers. The flowering period lasts at least two months and this variety sets berries well. It is self fertile and produces abundant pollen.
True Seed (TPS)
The TPS available in 2022 is combined excess from several crosses. I pollinated Muru with bulk red pollen, with pollen from a red and white bicolor potato from the cross Maco x Yana Condori, and with pollen from Deah, progeny of Rozette that appears to have fertile pollen. Because Muru is self-compatible and very fertile, I expect to see a pretty even mix of selfed and crossed progeny. Selfed seed will produce varieties largely similar to the parent, mostly late varieties with blue and white bicolor tubers. Crossed seed will likely produce reds, red and white bicolors, and some blues. There is a possibility of red or blue flesh as well.