|Andean potato information and growing instructions|
|Solanum maglia information and growing instructions|
|This is an OSSI open source variety. Click for more information about open source seeds.|
|This is a new and unproven variety and may not be offered again.|
|This product may produce plants with toxic levels of potato glycoalkaloids|
Valparaiso is a Cultivariable original variety, selected in 2020 from a cross between the Chilean wild potato Solanum maglia and bulk pollen from domesticated diploids. The wild parent of this cross was collected just outside Valparaiso in the 1950s. This potato is intended for use in breeding; I don’t advise eating it because the glycoalkaloid concentration probably exceeds the safety limit. Valparaiso is very fertile, so you can use it to make crosses with other diploid potatoes, potentially capturing some of the interesting traits of S. maglia while hopefully also dodging the less useful traits, like bitterness. You can read the history of this variety in a series of blog posts, beginning with Crossing Between Solanum Maglia and Domesticated Diploid Potatoes.
Valparaiso has dry, starchy flesh with good flavor. I found it very pleasant to eat roasted, but there is a bit of a sour aftertaste, which indicates the the glycoalkaloids are high. I can’t measure glycoalkaloids, so I don’t know how high. Based on experience, I’d say this one is probably on the border and, therefore, probably safe to eat in a small serving, but I really don’t know. I ate a six ounce portion without any trouble, but that doesn’t mean that everyone would have the same experience. To be safe, I don’t recommend eating this potato.
Valparaiso makes a pretty big plant and I wouldn’t grow it on anything less than a 15 inch spacing. It was very slow growing from seed and I don’t yet know if it will be similarly slow from tubers, but I suspect not. The stolons range from a few inches to a foot long, with most of the tubers clustered under the plant. The plants flower heavily and have a long flowering period. Tuber dormancy appears to be only about eight weeks, so tubers for planting are probably better kept in the refrigerator. Plants set berries easily and may be self-compatible, which is unusual for diploids. It might be the most interesting trait that could be captured from S. maglia.
True Seed (TPS)
TPS was collected in 2020 from the seedling plant of this variety, which produced six quarts of berries. I can’t give you much idea of what you should expect from this seed. The plant was relatively isolated, so I don’t know if it had much opportunity to outcross. I suspect that most of the berries were actually self-pollinated. If that is true, the progeny will be various combinations of the S. maglia and domesticated diploid genome, ranging from 100% S. maglia and 100% domesticated diploid at the extremes of the bell curve, with the middle consisting of roughly 50/50 mixes. Many of those should be similar to the parent.