The Wild Potato or Indian Potato Vine – Desirable or a Pesky Weed?

wild potato flowers
Ipomoea pandurata on fence. Image by Kevin Ternes
Also called the wild sweet potato or the man-root, this tuber-producing vine is viewed by some as the free source of tubers that smell like sweet potatoes and have a tasty, unique flavor. By others, it is viewed as a pesky, invasive weed. Which will it be for you?

Although these “potatoes” are free, it takes a little work to gather them. Many hands make the work light. One thing about these natural treats is, they are certainly easy to identify.

Wild Potato Tuber
Ipomoea pandurata root. Image by Kevin Robertson, Pebble Hill Plantation, 2015

The wild potato can grow quite large, one lone potato weighing as much as an entire 20-lb. bag of grocery-store potatoes. But, as is the case for many other vegetables, the smaller ones make the best eating. Oh, yes… one final note: they must be cooked before you eat them!

Gathering and Boiling the Wild Potato

A picture’s worth 1,000 words. A video’s worth 1,000 pictures. Here’s a great video with an excellent choice of music and, best of all, it is all action – not one word.

Note: You might also enjoy You Can Eat Onion Grass

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