Sweet Potato is , surprisingly, more closely related to one of the less popular plants regularly found in our gardens than we think. Now, don’t be misled by the common name. That’s always a mistake. Ipomoea batatas is distantly related to because they are both from the Solanales order but they are not family. The members of the same family are all Convolvulaceae. If that sounds familiar, think of Convulvus, the climbing Morning Glory. Also, the white flowered close cousin, Bindweed. Yes, BINDWEED!!
Sweet Potatoes are closely related to the pernicious strangling weed Bindweed.
When you compare leaves and flowers, you can see the link but the tubers are the main difference.
The wide trumpets and the glossy heat shaped leaves, the twining stems. All are common in all three plants.
The resemblance to the common potato is very slight, mainly in the edible tubers. Beyond that, there are very few similarities. A much smaller trumpet flower but no climbing.No heart shaped leaves either sadly, as I’m sure they’d make spuds more popular in the garden.
Anyway, why the interest in Sweet Potatoes?
Because I’ve just started growing them!