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Batatas batatas, Batatas edulis, Batatas glaucifolius, Batatas wallii, Batatas xanthorhiza, Convolvulus acuminatus, Convolvulus batatas, Convolvulus candicans, Convolvulus chrysorhizus, Convolvulus cordatifolius, Convolvulus cordifolius, Convolvulus edulis, Convolvulus esculentus, Convolvulus essequebensis, Convolvulus glaucifolius, Convolvulus macrorhizus, Convolvulus panduratus, Convolvulus platanifolius, Convolvulus roseus, Convolvulus scaber, Convolvulus septangularis, Convolvulus tuberifer, Convolvulus tuberosus, Convolvulus varius, Ipomoea alba, Ipomoea candicans, Ipomoea catesbaei, Ipomoea davidsoniae, Ipomoea edulis, Ipomoea fastigiata, Ipomoea glaucifolia, Ipomoea mucronata, Ipomoea purpusii, Ipomoea scabra, Ipomoea vulsa, Ipomoea wallii, Pharbitis forskoeli, Tirtalia pandurata
Morning glory, sweet potato
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Ipomoea batatas is native to the tropical regions in America. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of Convolvulaceae, I. batatas is the only crop plant of major importance—some others are used locally, but many are poisonous. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum) and does not belong to the nightshade family.[+]
The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato also includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not usually extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants; the name tuberous morning glory may be used in a horticultural context.
The plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh ranges from beige through white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. Sweet potato varieties with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh.
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