The Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a perennial agricultural plant of the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family, best known for its tuberous roots, which are eaten widely as a staple vegetable. It is one of the most widely used vegetables in Europe and North and South America.
The word potato comes from the Taino word, batata, meaning sweet potato, via Spanish patata. Potato tuber grows underground, has an uneven shape, and a thin skin that is usually red, yellow, or brown. Inside the potato is pale flesh.
A potato plant usually grows about 50-100cm(20-40 inches) high. Its leaf arrangement is spiral. Leaves are about 20-30cm long. Underground the stems extend into structures called stolons. The ends of the stolons are the spot that potatoes grow. Stolons usually bare potatoes in weight up to 300 g (10 ounces) but occasionally to more than 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds). The skin colors are various, from brownish white to deep purple; the flesh normally ranges in colour from white to yellow, but it, too, may be purple. A potato plants usually bear potatoes within 10 weeks. 
Potatoes reproduce themselves through a type of asexual reproduction called vegetative propagation. The best environments of growth and the rate of production increased with both day-length and temperature over the ranges 8–24 h and 15–25 °C consistently. Propagation rates of up to x10 per month than obtained. In vitro plantlets spontaneously formed roots either in agar or liquid cultures. Plantlets left in the culture jars for 3–4 months eventually senesced and formed small tubers in 16 and 24 h day-lengths. In a day-length of 8 hours vegetative growth continued by branching and no tubers were formed. 
Potatoes are an important food source over the world. Potatoes are the most widely and easily cultivated vegetable in the world. Potatoes were originally cultivated in South America, and in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru which are in Andes mountain range. More than 400 years ago, the Inca Indians grew potatoes in mountain valleys.
An average-sized potato weighing between 6 and 8 ounces contains less than 100 calories. Potatoes consist of about 80 percent water, 20 percent solid matter, and have a high nutritional value. Starch makes up about 85 percent of this solid mass and the rest is protein. Potatoes also provide vitamins including niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin C. They also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur.
Amount Per Serving Size 1 cup diced (75g)
- Calories 58
- Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value
- Total Fat 0.1g0%
- Saturated Fat 0g0%
- Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
- Monounsaturated Fat 0g
- Cholesterol 0mg0%
- Sodium 4.5mg0%
- Potassium 315.8mg9%
- Total Carbohydrate 13.1g4%
- Dietary Fiber 1.7g1%
- Sugars 0.6g0%
- Protein 1.5g3%
- Vitamin A 0% • Vitamin C 25%
- Calcium 1% • Iron 3%
There is one thing to be careful about when you eat a potato. If you see a bud come out of the skin of a potato, you should not eat it. Because, the bud contains solanine which is a kind of toxic substance.
- The topic: potato Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/02.
- Anatomy People have been here since this page was last updated on 7/24/00
- Reproduction 2009 Annals of Botany Company
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