S. cardiophyllum is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting species for the small potato breeder. Unlike the majority of wild potato species, it is edible without any processing. In fact, the accessions that have been measured had lower levels of glcoalkaloids than the domesticated potato. The plants can vary considerably in form, but are often tall and spindly. The tubers are small – averaging around an inch, but are usually produced in good quantity. Although they aren’t domesticated, the tubers are sometimes collected and, in at least one case, farmed for food in Mexico. It would be really interesting to work on improving this species on its own, rather than crossing it to domesticated potatoes.
S. cardiophyllum is tricky to use for breeding with the domesticated potato. It is a diploid with an endosperm balance number of 1, which means that a bridge species must be used to cross to S. tuberosum. Our wild potatoes are not fully isolated, so while most of the seeds will be purely S. cardiophyllum, some may be crossed with other wild potatoes.
25 seeds collected from mixed varieties or 3 tubers. The tubers may be of more than one variety or all the same.
This species is listed as a noxious weed in California, so no seeds or tubers to California.
You can read more about S. cardiophyllum in our Wild Potato Guide.