If you are familiar with the common potato, you are familiar with how versatile it is. You can fry them, mash them, boil them, or even make french fries out of them. However, some people have discovered wonderful uses for the potato flower itself.
While most people let their potatoes blossom without realizing what they do with the flowers, others have found some very unique uses for this amazing plant. Let’s look at why potato plants have flowers and what you can and can’t do with them.
Why do potatoes need flowers?
Potatoes are members of the global nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers. This means that they all share some common traits with one another. They also share a reason for having flowers, much like most plants do.
All plants need flowers to make seeds and reproduce. That’s why they have blossoms; it allows them to produce offspring, and potatoes are no exception. As potatoes are tubers, they grow vegetables underground.
Most people don’t realize that potato plants can also produce fruit from the flowers if the blooms are pollinated. The fruits are toxic and shouldn’t be eaten but contain seeds that can be gathered and used to grow new potato plants the following year.
Can you eat potato flowers?
The majority of potato flowers are small, yellow, or white blooms that look nice but aren’t edible. Don’t eat the leaves or flowers of a potato plant as they contain a substance called solanine which is toxic. This compound can cause some nasty symptoms when ingested by humans or animals, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headaches. In severe cases where large amounts of the plant’s flowers or leaves have been consumed, the solanine can prove to be fatal.
Potato flower uses
Here are some unique potato flower ideas that you may not have thought of:
Most gardeners grow potato plants from a seed potato that they’ve purchased from a garden center. However, it is possible to collect the seeds from pollinated potato flowers and plant them the following growing season. It will take longer to grow a potato from seed rather than from a seed potato.
Bouquets Made from Potato Flowers
Besides using potato flowers in your cooking, you can also make them into bouquets and decorative displays. To do this, simply put the flowers into a vase with some water. You can add other types of blooms or embellishments to the bouquet for a unique arrangement that is perfect for any occasion, from weddings to funerals.
Potato flowers can also be used to determine whether or not your potatoes are ready to harvest. Most varieties of potato flowers are then ready to be dug two or three weeks later.
Potatoes are a great way to make a meal healthy. You can eat them in many different ways, and they taste wonderful. However, you should never eat potato flowers or leaves of a potato plant as they will affect your health.
Related article: Can you eat potato leaves?