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Potato cultivars appear in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
Scientific classification e
S. tuberosum
Binomial name
Solanum tuberosum
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A potato is a vegetable, the Solanum tuberosum.[2] It is a small plant with large leaves. The part of the potato that people eat is a tuber that grows under the ground.

A potato contains a lot of starch and other carbohydrates. Potato usually has a light-brown or yellowish skin and is white or yellow inside. If the potato gets light on it, the tuber turns green and will be poisonous.[3][4]

1. Sprout 2. Dormant bud 3. Periderm 4. Cortex 5. Vascular Ring 6. Perimedulla 7. Outer medulla


The potato is originally from the high and cool areas of the Andes mountains. It was grown as a food crop thousands of years ago.[5] When Spanish conquistadores came to South America in the 1500s they took potatoes back to Europe.[5]

It took nearly 200 years for the potato to become a widely grown crop. In the 1780s the farmers in Ireland began growing potatoes because they grew well in the poor soils. They also have most of the vitamins that people need to live. When a potato plague destroyed the crop in 1845 the Irish Potato Famine killed many people.[5][6]

The potato plant is now grown in many different parts of the world. Captain William Bligh planted potatoes on Bruny Island, Tasmania in 1792.[7] In Australia they are now the largest vegetable crop.[3]

Name origin

The English word "potato" comes from the Spanish word "patata". The Royal Spanish Academy says the Spanish word is a hybrid of the Taíno batataLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found. ('sweet potato') and the Quechua papaLua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Category handler/data' not found. ('potato').[8][9]


Scientists in Germany have used genetic engineering to make a potato called the Amflora, which could be grown to make starch for making other things in factories.[15]


Potatoes are almost always eaten cooked. People cook potatoes by boiling, baking, roasting, or frying them. French fries or "chips" are potatoes cut into long pieces and fried until they are soft. Potato chips, often called crisps, are potatoes cut into very thin round pieces and fried until they are hard.

William Shakespeare wrote that the potato was an aphrodisiac,[16] but there is no evidence to show this is true.

image by Clusius (1583)


  1. "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  2. "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Potato - growing potatoes in Australia.". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  4. "Potato plant poisoning - green tubers and sprouts". U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Potato - History". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  6. "The History Place - Irish Potato Famine". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  7. "DPIW - Tasmania's potato history". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  8. "patata" (in es). Diccionario Usual. Royal Spanish Academy. 
  9. Ley, Willy (February 1968). "The Devil's Apples". Galaxy Science Fiction: 118–25. 
  10. "Yukon Gold Potato History". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  11. "Norgleam". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  12. "Norgleam - Dictionary". 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 "DPIW - Potato Varieties". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  14. "Potato types – varieties of potatoes widely available". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  15. "EU Clashes Over Authorising GMO Maize Types, Potato – Food Industry News". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  16. "The Untold History of the Potato - Book Reviews - Books - Entertainment". Retrieved 2009-07-05.