Sweet Potato Bonsai,
“Sammy the Yam”

Ipomoea batata (bonsaius kaputus)
Donated by Lynne Strode
1998, donated 2001

Weight: 16 g
Length: 19 cm (including sprout)

dehydrated sprouted sweet potato

Although this specimen has affectionately been nicknamed Sammy the Yam, it is in fact not a yam, but rather a sweet potato. It was left sitting for a long time. It shriveled and sprouted. (See also the sprouted russet potatoes specimen.)

It is unclear how this sweet potato was stored, but be aware that like many other vegetables, sweet potatoes should not be stored near onions and certain fruits, which exude ethylene gas that can make the veggies sprout and hasten their demise. Ethylene-producing fruits and veggies include avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, mangoes, peaches, pears, and tomatoes. Ethylene-sensitive ones include apples, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, leafy greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and watermelons. Ethylene is produced in the fruit to induce its own ripening, but also acts as a signal over distances to other plants.  NEXT >

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