Potato "fruit" - Knowledgebase Question

Portland, OR
Question by rjs2
July 9, 2000
I'm growing purple-or maybe they are considered blue-(all the way through)potatoes. I grew them last year also. This year, though, after flowering, they produced a fruit, almost looking like a tomato! I broke one open and it was seedy-pulpish looking. Just wanting to know, is there anything I could do with it, why did they form, just want some information on this pheonomenon. Not even my mom has seen this one, and she's be gardening for ever!


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Answer from NGA
July 9, 2000

0

When potato plants flower it indicates that tubers are beginning to develop underground, and that's a good thing. You can begin harvesting potatoes anytime after the plants flower, but the longer you wait, the larger the tubers will grow. The flowers eventually develop into seedpods, which have no particular use, other than to protect the seeds inside. The fruits are not edible. Some potato varieties seem more prone to flowering than others. Potatoes and tomatoes are members of the same (nightshade) family which is why you'll notice a similarity in leaf shape, flowers and fruits. Only the tomato fruit is edible, though!

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