Potato

PotatoThe potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum L. The word “potato” may refer either to the plant itself or to the edible tuber. In the Andes, where the species is indigenous, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region approximately four centuries ago, and have since become an integral part of much of the world’s food supply.

Potatoes are generally grown from seed potatoes – these are tubers specifically grown to be disease free and provide consistent and healthy plants. To be disease free, the areas where seed potatoes are grown are selected with care.

During the first phase, sprouts emerge from the seed potatoes and root growth begins. During the second, photosynthesis begins as the plant develops leaves and branches. In the third phase stolons develop from lower leaf axils on the stem and grow downwards into the ground and on these stolons new tubers develop as swellings of the stolon. This phase is often (but not always) associated with flowering. Tuber formation halts when soil temperatures reach 27 °C (81 °F); hence potatoes are considered a cool-season crop. (Source: Wikipedia)

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