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sweet potato,trailing perennial plant (Ipomoea batatas) of the family Convolvulaceae (morning glorymorning glory,
common name for members of the Convolvulaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and small trees (many of them climbing forms) inhabiting warm regions, especially the tropics of America and Asia. The family is characterized by milky sap.
..... Click the link for more information. family), native to the New World tropics. Cultivated from ancient times by the Aztecs for its edible tubers, it was introduced into Europe in the 16th cent. and later spread to Asia. It is now the most important of tropical root crops and is grown in many varieties (differentiated by their leaf shapes). In the United States it is cultivated chiefly in the South, though a few hardy varieties are grown as far north as Massachusetts. Sweet potatoes are used mostly for human consumption but are sometimes fed to swine. They yield starch, flour, glucose, and alcohol and are especially rich in vitamin A. The sweet potato is sometimes confused with the yamyam,
common name for some members of the Dioscoreaceae, a family of tropical and subtropical climbing herbs or shrubs with starchy rhizomes often cultivated for food. The largest genus, Dioscorea, is commercially important in East Asia and in tropical America.
..... Click the link for more information. , which belongs to another family. Sweet potatoes are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Solanales, family Convolvulaceae.
(Ipomoea batatas), a species of rhizocarpous plants of the genus Ipomoea, of the bindweed family. In the tropics it is cultivated as a perennial; in the subtropics, in annual cultures. The stalks (runners) are procumbent and 1–5 m long; the leaves, whole and palmatilo-bate, and the flowers, pink or white, large, and funnelshaped. There is cross-pollination. The fruit is a four-seed boll and seeds are black or brown, 3.5–4.5 mm in diameter. The sweet potato forms a nest of root tubers of various forms and coloring, which contain 24–28 percent starch and sugar when ripe. The tubers weigh from 200 g to 3 kg and even 10 kg (sometimes more). Sweet potatoes can be multiplied from the shoots of sprouted tubers and sections of the runners. The plant normally grows and develops in temperatures no lower than 20° c, optimally 25°–30° C. Sweet potato tubers are used as food; processed into preserves, flour, starch, and syrup; and used to feed livestock. The greens are a highly nutritious feed. The native home of the sweet potato is Mexico and Central America. Its cultivation is widespread in India, Indonesia, China, Japan, Spain, Italy, and the Usa. In 1965 the world planting of sweet potatoes (together with yams) was 16 million hectares and the average yield was 67 centners per hectare (from 50 centners in the Philippines to 198 centners in Japan). In the Ussr sweet potatoes are grown only in experimental plantings in Turkmenia and Georgia, where the yield is 400–600 centners per hectare.
REFERENCESAronov, V. L. Kul’tura batata v SSSR. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935.
Siniagin, I. I. “Kul’tura batata v subtropicheskikh i tropicheskikh stranakh.” Sel’skoe khoziaistvo za rubezhom: Rastenievodstvo, 1962, no. 3.
V. L. ARONOV