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Author Topic: Potatoes: My experiences with Plectranthus rotundifolius and Dioscorea bulbifera  (Read 8428 times)

Anolis

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Caesar, that Nonthaburi yellow is gorgeous! It seems like quite a unique variety, and Ill be very interested to see how it preforms for you next season. Food looks delicious too!

00christian00

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What strain is the left smooth one? Where to get it?
Is it tasty?

Caesar

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The food was as good as it looked.  ;D

The pale smooth strain on the left side is CV-1, still growing on my own vine. It was my first bulbifera variety, sent by Chandramohan (I named it after him, CV, his initials). I have that bulbil, a few that are somewhat approaching that size, and some small ones from a vine I accidentally killed at the base (they should be viable, though).

It is tasty! It's harder when immature, tender at full maturity. Freshly picked, it tastes more like potato than yam. The longer you let it sit on the counter, the stronger the bitter tones get, so eating it fresh is recommended but they remain edible no matter how bitter they get. The skin is edible too, but I haven't eaten it from a mature one yet. The tiny one I chucked into the soup the other day (unpeeled, with the skin) was tender despite its size, and had a more vegetal than starchy flavor.

Chandramohan

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This is the biggest airpotato I got so far, weighing 990 gms. Unfortunately, the bulbils on this vine seems to have been attacked by some pests, there are dark pockets on all bulbils. Do you have such a problem? By the way, did the other bulbifera fruit?

Caesar

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What strain is the left smooth one? Where to get it?
Is it tasty?

Come to think of it, I think it's the same one I sent you.



This is the biggest airpotato I got so far, weighing 990 gms. Unfortunately, the bulbils on this vine seems to have been attacked by some pests, there are dark pockets on all bulbils. Do you have such a problem? By the way, did the other bulbifera fruit?

That's an impressive bulbil! Is that from the smooth one you first sent me (CV-1) or from the bumpy second one you sent me (CV-2)?

If the pockets are tiny and somewhat deep, I'd guess beetles or other such insects were the culprit. If they're large and broad, it's probably slugs and snails (they were the culprit when my bulbils were being attacked). For the most part, my bulbiferas are decently safe lately.

Sena is in active growth, with a very late start. I pray for bulbils, but I'm not sure it'll give them to me yet.

Hawaii 2 was set-back by dying back when I was traveling, and resprouting soon after. From the looks of things, it's about to finish for the year, and only bore one decent bulbil, which I sent to Luis (the next one goes to you, the next ones after that to a few people I owe bulbils to).

CV-2 died back in the same incident, and hasn't resprouted. Several yams died back, and I actually lost track of which container had which yam. I fear the worst, but I'm hoping a tuber survived to bear bulbils next year. At least it bore one small bulbil before drying up, and it's already sprouting roots.

I got a pack of multiple edible Air Potatoes today. The original "Hawaii" (also known as "Jim's Hawaii"), a Korean-based African strain (tentatively called "Afro-Korea") reputed to be of excellent quality (it even has edible foliage), as well as an asian type remarkably similar to Nonthaburi Yellow (tentatively called "Tefoe Yellow", the main distinction is paler brown skin). I got two purple bulbils of uncertain edibility called "Tefoe Purple", but they seem delicate, they're survival is not assured, so I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch. I'm getting a green one next season.

The Polish African strain I'll tentatively call "Pińczw", and the one from GoodMice "Mae-Sai Yellow".

Pics!

The air potatoes in their packages:




Tefoe Yellow on the left, Nonthaburi Yellow on the right:




Jim's Hawaii:




Three African strains, Jim's Hawaii on the left, Mexico in the lower middle, and Afro-Korea on the right:


Chandramohan

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It is from CV1.

Chandramohan

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Today I dug up the tuber from CV 1. It weighed in at 2.550 Kgms!!!  On cooking one portion, it was soft, with a slightly sweet taste, nice flavour, overall very nice!!


Caesar

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That tuber looks great! For how long was that vine in the ground? It looks much bigger than the roots I've harvested. I remember mine were excellent, slightly yellow, with agreeable taste and texture everywhere except near the growing point (it was tougher, which I've found to be the case with all yams).

Indeed, I remember you telling me that the tuber portion was reputed to be tastier, and I found that to be the case on my first few tries. But when I plucked and ate a fresh bulbil at the peak of ripeness, it was a whole different experience. Fresh off the vine, with no storage time, it was like eating actual potatoes. The root and the bulbils are not very comparable, they taste a bit different to me. The root tastes more like a traditional yam and it keeps its quality longer. The flavor quality of the bulbils deteriorates the longer you keep it in storage, though they remain edible through it all. The tubers and bulbils are both excellent, but different.

It occurs to me that you can grow air potato in two different ways... I picture a perennial patch, grown on trees or trellis, where the root is left in place year after year. These would be kept for large bulbil production, where the bulbils would be the main crop. A second patch could be grown like more conventional yams on trellis, harvested for the tubers and replanted from their own bulbils every year. The bulbils from this second patch would be smaller, but they'd also be edible, and I've found the skin on CV-1 to be tender and edible (I still have to test the bigger bulbils, but I suspect the same applies). Select a few for replanting, then chuck the rest of the small bulbils into soups and stews (perhaps pre-boiled, in case their cooking water is bitter).

Chandramohan

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This tuber is 4 years old. I have not dug up for 4 years.

Luisport

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My two new dioscorea bulbifera bulbs...   ;D






mikkel

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Please, could you name a source for Dioscorea and  Plecthranthus in Europe?

Caesar

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Please, could you name a source for Dioscorea and  Plecthranthus in Europe?

I'm not aware of any particular source that's actually based in Europe (other than the link provided by Luis, to eBay vendor Lupinaster's D. bulbifera; maybe Luis himself, if he gets a decent crop soon), but I've shipped both genera to Europe before (Portugal & Italy), if you're interested in trying. The shipping can be a bit expensive though (my cheapest package to Portugal was about $15 in shipping).

mikkel

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Thank you! Yes shipping is quite expensive but my main concern is that I might buy some inedible Dioscorea varieties.
I am not sure as  Dioscorea is only a side project but I think there some toxic ones?
Most vendors seem not to have personal experience so it would be good to find a reliable source.
But correct me if I am wrong!
Are you aware of the other Plectranthus varieties esculentus and edulis ? Couldn`t find any source neithertuber nor seeds.

Caesar

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The eBay sources posted here all claim edibility, and I think they all ship to Europe.

I have Plectranthus rotundifolius, and am willing to ship. I'm trying to track down P. esculentus, but it's not easy to find. Every online source I've seen so far is just misidentified P. rotundifolius. I haven't checked eBay for Plectranthus lately, but I've seen P. rotundifolius for sale there before, and I think some listings might ship to Europe.



These sources claim edibility for their bulbiferas, and I suspect they would ship to Europe:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/644244780/dioscorea-bulbifera-with-both-bulbs-and?ga_search_query=Bulbifera&ref=shop_items_search_1

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bulb-DIOSCOREA-BULBIFERA-Air-Potato-Yam-Herb-Plant-Phytosanitary-Certificate/401523014621

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Dioscorea-Bulbifera-Bulbs-Thai-Herb/182952108093

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Bulb-Dioscorea-Bulbifera-Bulbilbearing-yam-Thai-Herbs/322929051908

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-BULBOS-DIOSCOREA-BULBIFERA-PAPA-VOLADORA-DE-AIRE-NAME-GUISOS-HUERTO-VITAMINAS/123864323804

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vegetable-Air-Yam-Dioscorea-bulbifera-f-sativa-edible-1-large-tuber/223734238301

This last one is based in Poland. Ask the seller to see if he has any in stock, as I've seen him run out and then have more (he might be selling each bulbil as it matures on the vine).

 

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