These are the flowers from one of my Peruvian purple potato plants. This variety is not a modern hybrid but a true diploid species. It is a fingerling type with oblong tubers are oblong from 2 to 8 inches in length. The eyes are deep set and the skin and interior dark purple-blue. The plants get very large and can spread three or four feet.
Peruvian purple potato is a good producer and the tubers last many months in storage. The flavor is good and they can be prepared baked, boiled, mashed, sliced and simmered, and as hashed browns. The potatoes keep their color well in cooking.
Cultivating Peruvian purple potato is like any other potato but the sets should be planted deeper than for standard types. I use both whole small tubers with sprouts and longer tubers cut into chunks for seed. To plant I dig a trench about a foot deep and place the seed potatoes 10 inches apart. I then fill the trench halfway. As the sprouts emerge and elongate and add the remaining soil leaving just a few leaves showing and cover with a mulch of old hay. The Peruvian purple potato matures late in the season which is usually mid-September here in northern Minnesota. I protect the plants with lightweight row covers if there is a danger of frost or prolonged cold weather.
Lately, colorful foods like the Peruvian purple potato have received a lot of attention for the healthful antioxidant chemicals they contain. There is a lot of hype about them some true some a little fantastic but I knew and was enjoying the humble Peruvian purple potato before it was a superstar.