Wild Potato (Ipomoea pandurata)

Wild Potato 1

Other common names for this vine are Man of the Earth, Man Root, and Indian Potato.  It is a vine that is in the Morning Glory family.   The runners can reach up to 30 feet long with white flowers with reddish purple eyes.   Hummingbirds love these flowers.  It grows best in medium moisture and well drained soils in full sun to part shade.Wild Potato 3                      Wild potato 2

After blooming a fruit (seed capsule) forms and will open at maturity.   The wind will then disburse its hairy seeds.   The vine run along the ground and will climb other vegetation.     The starchy roots can grow to four feet long and can weigh as much as 25-30 pounds.

The Cherokee would make a poultice to apply to areas of rheumatism.   A teas was made for coughs.   Tea was also used as a diuretic and an expectorant.   A tea was also given as a laxative and to treat asthma.   The roots were cooked and provided a good source of carbohydrates.


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