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Don’t Eat This Sweet Potato




So, when is a sweet potato not a yam? When it’s an Ipomoea batatas, that’s when.
The beautiful vines produced by Ipomoea batatas–aka sweet potato vine–have long been enjoyed by gardeners as a heat-loving, trailing tropical plant especially suited for hanging basket culture. Sweet potato vine also now comes in several different foliage colors, from a chartreuse-yellow to a burgundy-red to a near-black purple. Alternating the colors in a mass bed planting creates a terrific look. There is also a lovely variegated tricolor type.
Although the sweet potato vine is a non-flowering annual grown from a tuber, it is a cousin of the morning glory, which should tell you something about its vigor: give it plenty of room.
Sweet potato vines are easily propagated either from pieces of the leaf or the vine, or by dividing the new tubers created in the ground each season.
But whatever you do, don’t dig up the tubers expecting to serve them at Thanksgiving dinner – they are incredibly bitter and not for eating. Just enjoy the foliage!





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