S. stoloniferum is a wild relative of the domesticated potato and is native to Mexico and the United States. Plants are tall and unruly and produce small tan tubers. While they are edible, this species doesn’t generally yield enough to grow for that purpose, although we have a few varieties that produce two inch tubers, so this species might hold some promise for breeding even without crossing to domesticated potatoes. Tubers may be high in glycoalkaloids and should be consumed with caution. They were eaten by native Americans, so they are probably reasonably safe, but if they are very bitter you should not eat many of them. Generally, S. stoloniferum is used in breeding programs to introduce wild traits to domesticated potatoes, particularly late blight and potato virus Y resistance. Our wild potatoes are not fully isolated, so while most of the seeds will be purely S. stoloniferum, some may be crossed with other wild or domesticated potatoes. Any that are crossed may well turn out to be the most interesting of the batch. S. stoloniferum has an endosperm balance number of 2, but is tetraploid. This is an inconvenient combination, since the only easy cross, to diploids, will result in triploids that might be impossible to cross further. Because of that, it might be better to try to cross it to tetraploids and hope for unreduced gametes. One interesting cross to try might be between this species and S. acaule, another 2EBN tetraploid.
25 seeds collected from mixed varieties or 3 tubers. The tubers may be of more than one variety or all the same.