A rhizomatous perennial herb of cultivated and waste land, rubbish tips and on coastal sand and shingle where domestic waste has been dumped. In disturbed habitats it is usually casual, but the production of tubers allows some populations in more stable sites to become established. Lowland.
Potatoes have been cultivated in the Andes for at least 7000 years. S. tuberosum was introduced to England in about 1590, becoming a staple food of the poor, especially in Scotland and Ireland, by 1800. It was known from the wild by at least 1908, and its distribution is likely to be stable, but like many crop casuals, the species is under-recorded in some areas.
Native of S. America.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.4
Annual Precipitation (mm): 883
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Atlas text references
1995. Flora dels Països Catalans, III. Pirolàcies-Compostes.
1990. The potato: evolution, biodiversity and genetic resources, edn 3.
1986. Exploited plants. The potato. Biologist. 33:161-167.