Solanum jamesii

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Solanum jamesii
Solanum jamesii - Flickr - aspidoscelis.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
S. jamesii
Binomial name
Solanum jamesii
Tubers of Solanum jamesii Four Corners Potatoes Solanum jamesii.jpg
Tubers of Solanum jamesii

Solanum jamesii (common names: wild potato or Four Corners potato) [1] is a species of nightshade. Its range includes the southern United States. All parts of the plant, and especially the fruit, are toxic, containing solanine when it matures.[ citation needed ] The tubers were/are eaten raw or cooked by several Native American tribes, [2] [3] but they require leaching and boiling in clay in order to be rendered edible. The tubers are small when compared to familiar varieties of S. tuberosum . [4]

Escalante Valley in Utah boasts the oldest known cultivation sites of the Four Corners potato, dating back over 7,000 years, and the plant is so prevalent there that a former name for the area was "Potato Valley". [5] S. jamesii is sometimes grown in yards or gardens as an ornamental plant, and there have been recent experiments in Escalante, Utah to start growing it as a food vegetable again, making use of the lower-alkaloid cultivars selected by the natives. [6] According to, "The primary glycoalkaloid in this species is tomatine, unlike the domesticated potato, in which the primary glycoalkaloids are solanine and chaconine."

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Potato</span> Staple food, root tuber, starchy

The potato is a starchy food, a tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum and is a root vegetable native to the Americas. The plant is a perennial in the nightshade family Solanaceae.

<i>Solanum</i> Genus of flowering plants

Solanum is a large and diverse genus of flowering plants, which include three food crops of high economic importance: the potato, the tomato and the eggplant. It is the largest genus in the nightshade family Solanaceae, comprising around 1,500 species. It also contains the so-called horse nettles, as well as numerous plants cultivated for their ornamental flowers and fruit.

<i>Solanum carolinense</i> Species of plant

Solanum carolinense, the Carolina horsenettle, is not a true nettle, but a member of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. It is a perennial herbaceous plant, native to the southeastern United States, though its range has expanded throughout much of temperate North America. The plant is an invasive in parts of Europe, Asia, and Australia. The stem and undersides of larger leaf veins are covered with prickles.

<i>Solanum dulcamara</i> Species of plant

Solanum dulcamara is a species of vine in the genus Solanum of the family Solanaceae. Common names include bittersweet, bittersweet nightshade, bitter nightshade, blue bindweed, Amara Dulcis, climbing nightshade, felonwort, fellenwort, felonwood, poisonberry, poisonflower, scarlet berry, snakeberry, trailing bittersweet, trailing nightshade, violet bloom, and woody nightshade.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Solanine</span> Glycoalkaloid poison found in the nightshade family of plants

Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family within the genus Solanum, such as the potato, the tomato, and the eggplant. It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit, and tubers. Solanine has pesticidal properties, and it is one of the plant's natural defenses. Solanine was first isolated in 1820 from the berries of the European black nightshade, after which it was named. It belongs to the chemical family of saponins.

<i>Physalis peruviana</i> Species of cultivated South American fruit

Physalis peruviana is a species of plant in the nightshade family (Solanaceae) native to Chile and Peru. Within that region it is called aguaymanto, uvilla or uchuva, in addition to numerous indigenous and regional names. In English, its common names include Cape gooseberry, goldenberry and Peruvian groundcherry.

<i>Apios americana</i> Species of plant

Apios americana, sometimes called the American groundnut, potato bean, hopniss, Indian potato, hodoimo, America-hodoimo, cinnamon vine, or groundnut is a perennial vine that bears edible beans and large edible tubers.

<i>Solanum americanum</i> Species of flowering plant in the nightshade family Solanaceae

Solanum americanum, commonly known as American black nightshade, small-flowered nightshade or glossy nightshade, is a herbaceous flowering plant of wide though uncertain native range. The certain native range encompasses the tropics and subtropics of the Americas, Melanesia, New Guinea, and Australia.

<i>Solanum nigrum</i> Species of flowering plant in the nightshade family Solanaceae

Solanum nigrum, the European black nightshade or simply black nightshade or blackberry nightshade, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Solanum, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia, and South Africa. Ripe berries and cooked leaves of edible strains are used as food in some locales, and plant parts are used as a traditional medicine. A tendency exists in literature to incorrectly refer to many of the other "black nightshade" species as "Solanum nigrum".

<i>Coleus esculentus</i> Species of flowering plant

Coleus esculentus, synonym Plectranthus esculentus, also known as the kaffir potato or Livingstone potato, is a species of plant in the dicot family Lamiaceae. It is indigenous to Africa, where it is grown for its edible tubers. It is more difficult to cultivate than Coleus rotundifolius, but able to give greater yields. Although the crop is similar to a potato, it is from the mint family, but it is still quite nutritious and useful. This crop can benefit many subsistence farmers since it is native, easy to grow, enjoying growing popularity in the market, and quite nutritious.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Potato cyst nematode</span> Genus of roundworms that live on potato roots

Potato root nematodes or potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are 1-mm long roundworms belonging to the genus Globodera, which comprises around 12 species. They live on the roots of plants of the family Solanaceae, such as potatoes and tomatoes. PCN cause growth retardation and, at very high population densities, damage to the roots and early senescence of plants. The nematode is not indigenous to Europe but originates from the Andes. Fields are free from PCN until an introduction occurs, after which the typical patches, or hotspots, occur on the farmland. These patches can become full field infestations when unchecked. Yield reductions can average up to 60% at high population densities.

<i>Dioscorea bulbifera</i> Species of flowering plant in the yam family Dioscoreaceae

Dioscorea bulbifera is a species of true yam in the yam family, Dioscoreaceae. It is native to Africa, Asia and northern Australia. It is widely cultivated and has become naturalized in many regions.

Solanum cardiophyllum, known as cimatli, the heartleaf horsenettle or heartleaf nightshade, is a North American species, found primarily in Mexico. It is also present in some parts of the SW United States, but was probably introduced. This is one of the few wild potato species that was commonly used as food. The Aztec and the Chichimeca ate S. cardiophyllum and the practice continues in some parts of Mexico today. There was at least one farm that was growing S. cardiophyllum, S. ehrenbergii, and S. stoloniferum for market in Jalisco as recently as 2010.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tomatine</span> Chemical compound

Tomatine is a glycoalkaloid, found in the stems and leaves of tomato plants, and in the fruits at much lower concentrations. Chemically pure tomatine is a white crystalline solid at standard temperature and pressure.

<i>Solanum aculeatissimum</i> Species of shrub

Solanum aculeatissimum, known as Dutch eggplant, and love-apple, is a weedy shrub that bears small, 2–3 cm pale yellow fruit following white flowers with characteristic Solanum yellow stamens.

<i>Solanum seaforthianum</i> Species of flowering plant

Solanum seaforthianum, the Brazilian nightshade, is a flowering evergreen vine of the family Solanaceae native to tropical South America. As a member of the Solanum genus, it is related to such plants as the tomato and potato. It is characterized by clusters of four to seven leaves and can climb to a height of 6 m (20 ft) given enough room. It blooms in the mid to late summer with clusters of star-shaped purple inflorescence followed by scarlet marble-sized berries. The plant is highly heat resistant, but cannot tolerate frost conditions. The plant contains modest amounts of various tropane alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine and should be considered mildly toxic and inedible. Promising molluscicidal and schistosomicidal activities were displayed for the S. seaforthianum extracts and fractions which are attributed to the glycoalkaloid content.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Solanidine</span> Chemical compound

Solanidine is a poisonous steroidal alkaloid chemical compound that occurs in plants of the family Solanaceae, such as potato and Solanum americanum. Human ingestion of solanidine also occurs via the consumption of the glycoalkaloids, α-solanine and α-chaconine, present in potatoes. The sugar portion of these glycoalkaloids hydrolyses in the body, leaving the solanidine portion. Solanidine occurs in the blood serum of normal healthy people who eat potato, and serum solanidine levels fall markedly once potato consumption ceases. Solanidine from food is also stored in the human body for prolonged periods of time, and it has been suggested that it could be released during times of metabolic stress with the potential for deleterious consequences. Solanidine is responsible for neuromuscular syndromes via cholinesterase inhibition.

<i>Solanum chacoense</i> Species of flowering plant

Solanum chacoense is a species of wild potato. It is native to South America, where it can be found in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay. It "is one of the most widely distributed wild potato species." It grows as a common weed in disturbed habitat such as crop fields. It can also be found in Australia, China, the United States, England, New Zealand, and elsewhere as an introduced species.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Solanaceae</span> Family of flowering plants that includes tomatoes, potatoes and tobacco

The Solanaceae, or the nightshades, are a family of flowering plants that ranges from annual and perennial herbs to vines, lianas, epiphytes, shrubs, and trees, and includes a number of agricultural crops, medicinal plants, spices, weeds, and ornamentals. Many members of the family contain potent alkaloids, and some are highly toxic, but many—including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell and chili peppers—are used as food. The family belongs to the order Solanales, in the asterid group and class Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons). The Solanaceae consists of about 98 genera and some 2,700 species, with a great diversity of habitats, morphology and ecology.

Lenape (B5141-6) is a potato cultivar first released in 1967 and named after the Lenape Native American tribe, but it had to be pulled from the market in 1970 after findings of its high glycoalkaloid content. It was bred by Wilford Mills of Pennsylvania State University in collaboration with the Wise Potato Chip Company. The Lenape potato was produced by crossing Delta Gold with a wild Peruvian potato known for its resistance to insects. It was selected for its high specific gravity and low sugar content which made it ideal for producing potato chips but it was also immune to potato virus A and resistant to common strains of late blight. It is of medium-late maturity and produces round, white tubers with shallow eyes.


  1. USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Solanum jamesii". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  2. "NAEB Text Search". Native American Ethnobotany DB. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  3. Kinder, David H.; Adams, Karen R.; Wilson, Harry J. (2017). "Solanum jamesii: Evidence for Cultivation of Wild Potato Tubers by Ancestral Puebloan Groups". Journal of Ethnobiology. Society of Ethnobiology. 37 (2): 218. doi:10.2993/0278-0771-37.2.218. S2CID   90864671.
  4. "The ancient potato of the future". The Counter. 2021-11-23. Retrieved 2021-12-06.
  5. "Utah home to earliest use of wild potato in North America | UNews".
  6. "Did potato cultivation begin in Utah's Escalante Valley 11,000 years ago?".