Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: Potatoes: My experiences with Plectranthus rotundifolius and Dioscorea bulbifera  (Read 6554 times)

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
    • PR
    • View Profile
Nice links! The purple ones seem even rarer and harder to find than the normal ones. All the types shown in the links are African types. There's purple Asian types as well. We need to find all of them!

I'm keen on trying more recipes myself, I'm gonna cook a few more this weekend to see what I can do with them. They really are good, kinda like a mix of yam and potato in flavor, not like full yam. It's weird, 'cause I thought they were called air "potatoes" based on appearance alone, but apparently taste is a factor as well.

*

Important note: there's a reason plants need proper spacing. I didn't get any Lerén to taste this year, and hardly any potato mint. Too much of both growing in the same pot, competing. The Lerén in particular was hungry and vigorous in root (while the potato mint was vigorous in foliage). I'm hoping to get a better harvest from the mints at my grandmothers house. Let's see how it goes.

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
    • PR
    • View Profile
Important note about the air potato: for best flavor, eat them fresh!

My mother boiled up a batch of big air potatoes that had been sitting on the table for about a month. They were darker green on the inside and leached a lot of brown stuff into the water (¿tannins?). While still half decent in flavor, I wasn't very enthusiastic about eating them. The bitter notes were stronger and the taste less appealing.

Here's the batch as it cooked:




My grandmother, on the other hand, plucked a couple of fresh bulbils today and boiled them up on the spot. They were paler on the inside and barely leached stuff into the water. On tasting them (even with the dark green layer under the skin), they were very good, better than the first ones of the season (which were on the table for a week). They tasted like potato!

So for best flavor, it's better to pluck as needed rather than letting them fall off or storing them.

Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
A few weeks ago I got a good 2 handfuls of small Plectranthus tubers from a friend and put them in a community pot to sprout.
They sent up many shoots and I have 125 those rooting in 2" pots. When I get up to 200 plants I'll be putting two on each side of 50 one year old mango trees which have just gotten 4 wheelbarrow loads each of good homemade compost. It has been two years and I just got around to adding this crop to my farm I know they will do well from my friends experience. It will probably be 2 weeks before they are in the ground we have been under a high pressure for weeks(hot and dry) but our rainy season is imminent in June.



Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile
My two bulbs of dioscorea bulbifera are showing the first signs of sprouting...  ;D

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
    • PR
    • View Profile
http://www.jocpr.com/articles/physico-chemical-analysis-of-plectranthus-rotundifolius.pdf


Thanks for the article! I do wish they'd gone into more detail regarding the amino acid profile. Lots of plants are touted as being high in protein, but very few of them are high in "essential amino acids", and almost none are a complete protein (with all of the essential amino acids, each one at or above the minimum threshold to be nutritionally significant). Other than meat, the only complete protein that I remember is Quinoa and some legume crops (I can't recall them off the top of my head, but I think that Soy isn't one of them, though it comes close).


A few weeks ago I got a good 2 handfuls of small Plectranthus tubers from a friend and put them in a community pot to sprout.
They sent up many shoots and I have 125 those rooting in 2" pots. When I get up to 200 plants I'll be putting two on each side of 50 one year old mango trees which have just gotten 4 wheelbarrow loads each of good homemade compost. It has been two years and I just got around to adding this crop to my farm I know they will do well from my friends experience. It will probably be 2 weeks before they are in the ground we have been under a high pressure for weeks(hot and dry) but our rainy season is imminent in June.





You're gonna like those potatoes, they're a pretty low-care crop. A bit small, but easy to manage post-harvest, versatile and tasty. Have they gone into the ground yet?


My two bulbs of dioscorea bulbifera are showing the first signs of sprouting...  ;D


Pics man! Show me those babies! And if you haven't already, stick 'em into the ground. They're one of my slower yams to sprout, but the fastest ones to grow, and they sure grow long and vigorous.

00christian00

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 277
    • Italy, Zone 9a
    • View Profile
My pentaphylla and Bulbifera has gone in the ground. The bulbifera is from you Caesar, thanks again!
I noticed mine cannot stand a change of environment, is this common?
If they sprout in one environment then they go into shock if moved to different conditions.
Happened to the african bulbifera and the pentaphylla, they just stay there doing nothing after I moved them :(
Not a transplant issue as it doesn't do it when changing pot.

Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile
My purple d alatas just start to sprout and Plectranthus rotundifolius is growing very well! Can i use the leaves? Thank's!   ;D

Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile
My dioscorea alata bulbs are starting to sprout!

Purple alata
 


Indian alata from ebay
 


Alata from italian nursery and potato mint pots side by side
 

Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile

Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile
Hello Ceasar how are you? Do you know if i can use the leaves of potato mint? They are edible for cooking or tea?
Thank's!   ;)

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
Hello Ceasar how are you? Do you know if i can use the leaves of potato mint? They are edible for cooking or tea?
Thank's!   ;)

Quote
Edible Uses
Tubers - raw or cooked
Often eaten as a relish in combination with a starchy staple food, but occasionally they constitute the staple food[299
They are cooked with spices in various combinations with other foods such as beans and cooked vegetables[299
They are eaten cooked or steamed as a vegetable, sometimes even raw; they are also mixed with savor Adult tubers are also used as a substitute for potatoes, for the preparation of minced meatballs They are best consumed in small quantities, as they are somewhat indigestible Used in the same ways as potatoes The white, starchy, slightly aromatic tubers become dark with age
The tubers are usually 2 - 4cm long, occasionally to 8cm, occurring in clusters of 3 - 7
Leaves - cooked. Occasionally used as a vegetable[299
Medicinal
The leaves are sometimes used in traditional medicine for purposes such as the treatment of dysentery
The plant is also used to treat blood in the urine as well as eye disorders

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Plectranthus+rotundifolius

Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile
Thank's!  :)

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
    • PR
    • View Profile
I made tea with the Potato Mint leaves in their second year. It had a very light grassy taste, with an almost imperceptible mintiness. Nothing particularly appealing.

Luisport

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2729
  • New in tropical fruit growing!
    • Fatima, Portugal
    • View Profile
I made tea with the Potato Mint leaves in their second year. It had a very light grassy taste, with an almost imperceptible mintiness. Nothing particularly appealing.
Thank's!  :)

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
I recently found the Hindi name for Plectranthus rotundifolius. It is Koorka and is grown quite a bit by smaller farmers in India.
You can find many recipes for preparation on youtube plus a novel idea for peeling these smallish tubers.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6kMuLpHxWE

My own plants seem to be doing well it took them a long time to get flowering they may be daylength -sensitive in my zone since I noticed the flowering happened when other daylegth sensitive plants (winged beans, mucuna) began to flower. It may be another month or so before I will start digging.

Caesar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
    • PR
    • View Profile
I recently found the Hindi name for Plectranthus rotundifolius. It is Koorka and is grown quite a bit by smaller farmers in India.
You can find many recipes for preparation on youtube plus a novel idea for peeling these smallish tubers.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6kMuLpHxWE

My own plants seem to be doing well it took them a long time to get flowering they may be daylength -sensitive in my zone since I noticed the flowering happened when other daylegth sensitive plants (winged beans, mucuna) began to flower. It may be another month or so before I will start digging.

Mine also flower around year's end, approximately. They started flowering in October for me.

Also, great video link! With the footwork, I would've expected the tubers to come out smashed, but they probably didn't put full weight on it. It seems like a much faster and efficient way to do it than mine (I had fewer tubers, and it took me at least half an hour by hand).

pineislander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1338
    • Bokeelia, FL
    • View Profile
These are some of the air potato bulbils that came off a bulbil or two I got from Caesar. The ground tuber has grown to about 4 inches, 100mm size. The plant suffered a little because here in Florida we have an invasive inedible type air potato which has become a problem in our native areas. As a result, a non-native insect which attacks the air potato was introduced and I can see it has attacked my plants making the leaves look like someone shot them with a shotgun.
I will probably trial these for a few more seasons to see what happens but since ordinary D. alata is unaffected by pests it seems to be the better choice for my area. These bulbils are really only suitable for replanting and don't represent what might be expected from a more mature plant and one which hasn't been under attack. I will show what happens next year.


 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers