Types of Sweet Potatoes

There are hundreds of types of sweet potatoes ranging from white and mild to deep red and super sweet. Many are grown in small quantities and can be found at local farmers markets. Lucky for you, North Carolina sweet potatoes are available every month of the year. When selecting sweet potatoes, it is important that they are firm to the touch and no signs of decay. For even cooking, choose sweet potatoes that are uniform in shape.

The following are three popular sweet potato varieties found in grocery stores nationwide. Depending on flavor and texture, certain sweet potato varieties lend themselves better for certain recipes.

Covington Sweet Potato


A favorite for mashing or roasting, the Covington Sweet Potato has rose colored skin and supersweet orange flesh. Eat it whole with your favorite toppings or cut into wedges and bake as a side dish.

O’Henry Sweet Potato

O Henry

The O’Henry Sweet Potato has a pale copper skin, almost like a potato, but don’t be fooled. This tater’s white flesh is sweet, creamy and ideal for soups and stews.

Japanese Sweet Potato

Japanese sweet potatoes have red skin and dry, white flesh. Roast these up with a few of your favorite root veggies for a colorful side dish.

Japanese sweet potatoes have red skin and dry, white flesh. Roast these up with a few of your favorite root veggies for a colorful side dish.

Many types of sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina. Although some are grown for special uses, the majority are the orange-fleshed, moist, sweet varieties that are widely accepted in the fresh market and for processing. The list of sweet potato varieties changes rapidly and new varieties with superior qualities are released almost annually. Each variety has certain advantages and disadvantages. For a complete comparison of sweet potato varieties, refer to our variety table.

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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