Choose a Variety

Many varieties of sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina. Although some are grown for special uses only, the majority are the orange-fleshed, moist, sweet varieties that are widely accepted in the fresh market and for processing.

The variety picture changes rapidly and new varieties with superior qualities are released almost annually. Each variety has certain advantages and disadvantages.

Because sweet potatoes are vegetatively propagated and because uniformity in appearance of roots is essential, it is important to choose a variety that will suit your soil type, market requirements and weather conditions. It is advisable to plant at least two varieties each year because no single variety performs best on all soil types and under all climatic conditions. Below is a comparative table to help you with your choice.

Variety (Origin Date) Foliage Skin Flesh Yield Disease &Insect Resistance Flood Damage Other Weaknesses Other Strengths
Beauregard (LA, 1987) Green heartshaped leaves, blooms prolific Rose Orange Very good White grub, soil pox Resistance, roots may be misshapen Susceptible to root-knot, nematodes; bacterial soft rot; slow sprouting Stores well, high % No. 1 roots
Hernandez (LA, 1992) Green arrow-shaped leaves, purple stems, faciation Burnt Orange Deep Orange Good Root-knot, Soil Pox, Fusarium Wilt Wet soil may result in raised lenticels or black pimples on skin Late, sporadic sprouting, black flecks on skin. Slow sprouting, poor taste. Susceptible to blister; boron application may be necessary. Very uniform shape
Jewel (NC, 1970) Green stems, bushy Copper Deep Orange Very good Root-knot, Internal Cork Susceptible Mutations, Soil Pox, Cracking with variable soil moisture Storage life, shapes high % No. 1 roots
Carolina Ruby (NC 1988) Green heart shaped leaves with purple veins Dark Red to Purple Red Dark Orange Very good Fusarium Wilt, moderate soil rot, moderate to flea beetle Wet soil may result in cracking and blisters on skin Susceptible to root-knot nematodes, white grub & wireworm Stores OK Excellent baking quality
Porto Rico 198 (NC 1966) Deep Purple Stems and Veins Rose-pink Orange Mottled Average None Moderate resistance Susceptible to major diseases/cracking Baking quality
Cordner (TX 1983) Green stems Copper Medium Orange Very good Root-knot Susceptible Susceptible to pox Earliness, good plant production
White Delight (GA) Green heartshaped leaves Purplish pink White Very good Fusarium wilt Root-knot Susceptible Damp soil can cause high % rot tastes good stores well
Covington NC98-608 Rose Smooth Orange Very good Russet crack, Southern Root Knot, Nematode

 

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