As comprise by its name, you might assume the ornamental sweet potato vine is because that decoration only.

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Is this tree edible, prefer the source vegetable we know and love, or is it merely for show?


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What are Ornamental Sweet Potatoes?

Best known for their vibrant green or purple leaves, this vining plant functions well indoors and also out.

And the cultivars that this plant that have been understood ornamental are concerned the sweet potatoes we love to placed on our dinner plates.

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In fact, they are of the same species, Ipomoea batatas, though this specially selected cultivars are an ext commonly grown for their attractiveness (and for this reason are understood “ornamental”) fairly than being something we might be much more inclined to attribute in the vegetables garden with a future root harvest in mind.

In addition to your showy leaves, these plants also produce tubers, similar to the root vegetables we check out in the grocery store store but generally much less fleshy and robust. The tubers can conveniently be propagated come start brand-new plants, and they are basic to grow.

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There are more than a couple of different ornamental series and cultivars accessible in a variety of sheet colors and leaf shapes, in shades that green and also purple as well as a variegated multicolored variety, some with heart-shaped leaves, rather with three lobes or something resembling that of a maple.


If friend can’t obtain your hand on part slips or seed tubers, they can be purchased together potted plants as well.

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Sweet Caroline™ ‘Light Green’

Try the glowing ‘Light Green’ range from the Sweet Caroline™ series by Proven Winners, available in four-packs from residence Depot.

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‘Sweetheart Jet Black’

Or the deep violet ‘Sweetheart Jet Black’ native the very same series, also available from home Depot.


They’re gorgeous, and also make a worthy enhancement to the garden! but do they offer a function in the kitchen together well? Let’s discover out.

Are lock Edible?

In short, yes! however we wouldn’t recommend sampling the roots, uneven you are desperate, or perhaps an especially curious.

Because they space the same types as the sweet potato sold and grown together a food crop, the tubers have the right to be eaten.

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Keep in mind, however, the “ornamental” varieties have been bred for their visually appealing foliage, vice versa, “edible” types in the US have actually been bred to have actually flavorful and also satisfying roots. And there are additionally some species that have actually been bred especially for your delicious and also healthful leaves – a bit an ext on the later.

Ornamental sweet potatoes, despite they are not poisonous, have roots that are much much more bitter in flavor than their food chop counterparts, bordering on unpleasant.

They likewise tend to mature to a lot smaller dimension than the roots you’re supplied to finding in ~ the grocery store, or digging the end of the earth.

If sweet flesh is what you’re after, selecting a variety specifically selected for eating is recommended.

The leaves and stems of the vine are likewise edible, with a slightly tangy flavor and also a texture somewhat similar to spinach. In fact, they’re popular and enjoyed as a vegetable around the world, throughout many parts that Asia and also Africa as well as in Spain.

Some discover the pipeline to be more appealing as soon as they are boiled or sauteed, because this offers them a an ext tender texture and removes some of their bitterness, when others favor to reap them raw in salads, or deep fried in fritters.

The young leaves room the most tender, and also some choose to skip the pipeline altogether and just gain the stems.

Called kamote (or occasionally camote) tops, the leaf of this species is a typical vegetable took pleasure in in the Philippines. In Korea, you could enjoy goguma julgi bokkeum or goguma julki namul, row fried sweet potato vine banchan made with fresh or dried and reconstituted stems.

Vines don’t often create flowers, and also we to be unable to find any instances the them gift featured in any kind of cuisine.

While her ornamental sweet potato plants might be edible, this does not typical you should be eating them. Not the roots, in ~ least. Again, us recommend leaving those alone to thrive underground, and also perhaps to divide into slips because that rooting and planting out as soon as you want to start new vines.

As for the foliage, it’s beloved to excellent in the garden. And you can eat it together well, as long as it’s treated as an edible throughout the growing procedure and no exposed come harmful chemicals.


Try including the pipeline to salads and stir fries, and see if you choose them. Or experiment with the shoot of her “edible” crop, and also see just how those taste.

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‘Centennial’

If sweet tubers are much more your speed, shot planting something prefer ‘Centennial’ for eating.

Packages the 12 or 25 ceiling roots for planting space available indigenous Burpee.

Nutritional Value and also Potential health Benefits

So, the roots might not it is in your very first choice in terms of taste. Yet is the decorate foliage an excellent for your health?


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One cup that raw, chopped sweet potato leaves comes in at just 15 calories, 1 gram that protein, 0.2 grams the fat, and also 2 grams of fiber. They space packed v micronutrients including magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, and also lutein.

The mix of vitamin A and lutein makes them helpful for our eyes, helping to maintain our retinas and also protecting versus oxidation that reasons cell damage.

More research is essential in this area, however lutein may also protect against details cancers prefer that that the colon, breasts, lungs, and skin.


A keep in mind of Caution:

Please save in mind that plants that have actually not to be grown because that edible use might be sprayed through toxic pesticides or herbicides to keep them looking your best. If you are foraging in a neighbor’s garden because that ornamental sweet potato trunk or leaves, or purchase full-sized plants from a nursery, be certain to discover out exactly how these plants were grown first, and do not eat anything that is perhaps unsafe come consume.


According to an post published in the journal “Molecules” in 2019, a new variety of leafy sweet potato called ‘Fushu’ is grown today in China because that its edible leaves and also shoots rather than the tubers.

Purple arrays (‘Fushu No. 23’ in particular) have been discovered to boast high level of anthocyanins, antioxidant flavonoids that carry out the plants through their pigment.

Anthocyanins can have anti-inflammatory results in the body, and also have been displayed to have actually positive wellness effects, consisting of lowering blood sugar and helping to stop cardiovascular disease.

Though similar studies have actually not been done on purple ornamental cultivars, the anthocyanins responsible for their attractive pigmentation would certainly likely have positive impacts in the body together well.

As far as the tubers go, there is not lot information about their nutritional content obtainable since we commonly consume those that the varieties that are grew as edibles. The ornamental tubers are likely similar in nutritional content to their tastier counterparts.


There space no unique known services to eat decorative sweet potatoes compared to the people you commonly find at the grocery save or in the veggie patch.

More Than simply Looks

They can not it is in the tastiest roots in your garden, however talk about versatility!

Ornamental sweet potato vines can include a pop of color to her yard, and also the leaves and also stems that this types can lug something brand-new to her plate.

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Will you try cooking part up? carry out you have actually a favourite recipe because that the tribe or pipeline to share? permit us know in the comments!

If you want to learn an ext about sweet potatoes, take a look at these posts next:


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The components of this write-up have been reviewed and also verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This short article should no be interpreted as personalized or skilled medical advice. Gardener’s Path and also Ask the Experts, gmbh assume no liability because that the usage or misuse the the material presented above. Always consult through a medical expert before an altering your diet, or utilizing supplements or made or herbal medications.