Did You Know Potatoes Produce Poisonous Fruit?

Did You Know Potatoes Produce Poisonous Fruit?


The potato we all know it but how many of
you can actually say you knew it produced a fruit? There are a few reasons why most people haven’t
heard of this fruit, typically they don’t develop during the growing season. In the springtime potatoes will develop pink,
lavender or white flowers but almost always these flowers will not get pollinated and
fall off as the summer heat comes through. If the conditions are rainy and more mild
through the beginning of summer this gives the flowers a chance to set fruit from the
flowers. This is exactly what has happened this year
in my garden. May was very hot and june started to drop
off in temperature through to mid july with added rain and well now I’ve got potato
fruit! Being related to tomatoes, the potato is a
part of the nightshade family, the same family that has peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, garden
huckleberry or sometimes called black nightshade berries which I grew here last year, goji
berries and tomatillos. While they look like little green cherry tomatoes
you don’t want to eat them as they are poisonous. They contain high levels of the toxic alkaloid
solanine. If you do end up getting potato fruit it’s
best to pull them off as energy is being wasted developing the fruit vs the potatoes. I left mine to grow so I could show all of
you what potatoes fruit is all about. I will be planting these seeds to see if it
will yield a new variety of potato but apparently it takes years before a new potato will grow. The potato fruit is not the only place the
toxic compound solanine is found. Potatoes left in the sun will develop solanine
within them which turns them green. I know you’ve all seen a green potato and
now you know why you shouldn’t eat them. The levels of solanine in a potato is much
less than in the fruit but symptoms resulting from consuming this compound may be diarrhea,
abdominal pain, headache and shock. Ok so we know that potatoes develop toxic
fruit but what are they for? Just like most other plants this is the way
for potatoes to develop a new plant. Within each potato fruit are hundreds of seeds
which are all able to develop a new potato plant and potato tubers. The color of the potato doesn’t have any
effect on the color of the fruit as this fruit here is growing from a russian blue potatoes. The seeds will bare a new variety of potato vs
planting seed potato which is basically just a potato that has sprouted which will yield
the exact same potato as what is planted. For this reason gardening and for commercial
growing seed potatoes are used so they know what they are going to get. With it taking years to produce potatoes growing
them from seed it wouldn’t be a viable business and a bag of potatoes would probably cost
$50. Researchers will use the potato fruit seeds
to try to create new potatoes that might be better in different climates or more pest
resistant but aside from that they aren’t highly desired or used much by anyone else. Today we have over 4000 different types of
potatoes grown worldwide which are all done so from seed potatoes. Because they can produce toxic tomato looking
fruits it is advised to not grow them next to tomatoes and you wouldn’t want to mix
these up. Are you surprised by potatoe’s secret fruit
share your thoughts and until the next one have a good one.