World’s largest not-potato

Robert Parks via pbs
Sun, 20 Mar 2022 07:27:51 PDT
And here in California we have the man root, a cucurbit (Marah) that grows
a perennial tuber to larger than 100 kilos. Although I suppose, if you had
a big one in your garden, the distinctive foliage and fruits might tip you
off...and the tuber doesn't much look like any potato.

They are mildly hardy, but would require a lot of work to breed them away
from toxicity and towards being g a productive crop.

On Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 6:37 AM David Schaeffer via pbs <> wrote:

> Idk...have to take this kind of popular "science" reporting with a grain of
> salt. I mean if the guy's really a gardner he should have been able to spot
> that it's not a potato. Where are the eyes? And a tuberous cucurbit in the
> UK is nothing odd - my knowledge of European plants is PATHETIC, but I
> still know about white bryony, and I'll bet it's not the only tuberous cuke
> native to the area.
> As to whether cold-hardy cukes could be created through hybridization,
> sure, probably. But it would be a fairly major undertaking. You'd be
> starting from the ground up (groan. Look, you want Steve Hammer-level
> jokes? Go get Steve Hammer). I would think Mexico would be a good starting
> point, finding something close enough to mouse melon to begin breeding.
> There's ulluco, too, but it's no hardier than a potato. It'd be interesting
> to try. And probably an interesting way to introduce some new viruses to
> cultivation...
> - Dave
> On Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 9:12 AM Carl Frederick via pbs <
>> wrote:
> >
> >
> > As a gardener wouldn’t you think he would try to grow it as opposed to
> > freeze it?   Also, does this mean we can make more temperate mega-tubers
> by
> > hybridization (which is not really hybridization as such since we’re
> > talking about a single species I assume)?
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
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