The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens.
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 cultivars with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh.
Sweet potato's facts
Raw sweet potato
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
359 kJ (86 kcal)
Vitamin A equiv.
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Sweet potato's Relationship with Humans
Sweet potato (kattala) have been used in the traditional diet of the Maldivians, steamd & roasted to make different dishes. The leaves were finely chopped and used in traditional salads and Mashuni.
Cuttings of sweet potato vine, either edible or ornamental cultivars, will rapidly form roots in water and will grow in it, indefinitely, in good lighting with a steady supply of nutrients. For this reason, sweet potato vine is ideal for use in home aquariums, trailing out of the water with its roots submerged, as its rapid growth is fueled by toxic ammonia and nitrates, a waste product of aquatic life, which it removes from the water. This improves the living conditions for fish, which also find refuge in the vast root systems.
Sweet potato habitat
Ipomoea batatas var. apiculata is a narrow endemic to sand dunes in the Veracruz area (J.R.I Wood pers. comm. 2018). The habitat of wild I. batatas elsewhere is not known. Khoury et al. (2015) identified wild I. batatas as of notable adaptation to high mean annual, monthly, and quarterly temperatures.