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Potato

potato pictureThe Potato is the staple food of many cultures and civilizations past and present, and is the world's fourth largest food crop. The term Potato is used to refer both to the plant, and the vegetable itself. It is a stem tuber from the plant Solanum tuberosum, and is extremely starchy.

The potato plant itself grows about 60 cm off the ground. This of course depends on variety or cultivar, but the don't generally grow much higher than that. The plant is a herbaceous perennial. The potato plant grows flowers that are purple, white, red, blue or pink. All have yellow stamens, and look a lot like plants in the same family; aubergine and tomatos.

The cultivars with white flowers normally have white skins on the potatos, but coloured flowers normally means pink-colored skinned potatoes. The potato plant is known to self-fertilize, but a lot of cross-pollination occurs by insects, especially bumblebees. Some varieties of potato plants produce toxic fruits after flowering which resemble dark green cherry tomatos.

Nutritional Information for Potato, raw

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
     
Energy 80 kcal 320 kJ    
Carbohydrates   19 g
- Starch   15 g
- Dietary fibre   2.2 g
Fat   0.1 g
Protein   2 g
Water   75 g
     
    % of Daily
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.08 mg 6%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.03 mg 2%
Niacin (Vit. B3) 1.1 mg 7%
Vitamin B6 0.25 mg 19%
Vitamin C 20 mg 33%
Calcium 12 mg 1%
Iron 1.8 mg 14%
Magnesium 23 mg 6%
Phosphorus 57 mg 8%
Potassium 421 mg 9%
Sodium 6 mg 0%
 
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.

 

Also check out the Potato Pictures, and the Potato Classification.