Potatoes are highly nutritious. They contain complex carbohydrates, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, niacin and thiamine. They probably originated in South America, where thousands of varieties of potato are grown today. Potatoes are prone to take up chemical residues, particularly cadmium.  Non-organically grown potatoes often have pre-emergent herbicides, fumigants, insecticides,  and soluble chemical fertilisers added to the soil. These may translocate into the plant.


New potatoes are those harvested before the skin has set. They are usually sweeter, but more prone to bruising and skinning, so do not keep well. Avoid buying green, cut or bruised potatoes. Dirty potatoes can be stored for up to two months  if kept in a cool dry place.


All plants that reproduce from tuber, root suckers, runners, bulbs or similar tend to mutate.  If potatoes are continually reproduced from tubers without some selection process, they will be expected to degenerate over time.  If the smallest tubers are saved each season (being least suited for cooking) then soon you will have plants producing mostly small tubers.  Each season save tubers from your best plants for the following season and to give away as seed potatoes or swaps.  If a group of people are interested in preserving a number of the few remaining heritage varieties that we have left, then it would be better if people grew a lesser number of varieties and a greater number of each variety.


There is a problem with a disease called "Common Scab" amongst many of the potatoes grown by home gardeners.  This is a fungal disease transmitted on tubers or in dirt.  It is recommended that potato peelings not be put on the garden in areas that it is intended to grow potatoes at anytime in the future.  The threat of Common Scab on newly obtained tubers can be eliminated by growing the tubers in pots till the shoots are well above the ground.  Cuttings can then be taken (while still young) from above the ground and when struck these are transplanted out. This is only necessary in the first year, from then on the variety can be grown in the normal way.  Dispose of the soil used to start the potato.


 The following list of potatoes has been prepared as a reference for the varieties that are known to have been grown in south-eastern Australia at some time in the past.  Ones still being grown have the name of someone who may be able to supply tubers of that variety.


Potatoes. References- 1. A photostat of an undated copy of "Potato growing in Victoria", though undated it is believed to be quite old as it refers to cultivation by horse and plough.  (Vic.Dept. Ag. - VDA - publication, undated)


2.Agdex 262-30 Tasmanian potato cultivars (Tas. Dept. Ag. - TDA).


3.  Leaflet from G. & B. Dobson, Acheron Valley Farms, Alexandra, Vic. Wholesale growers who distribute to greengrocers in Melbourne. Approx 1996


4.  Leaflet from Organic Wholesalers P/L Box 37, 542 Footscray Rd, Footscray. Wholesalers from Victorian Vegetable Wholesale market. 1997


 ARRAN BANNER  A mid season, round shaped variety, white skin and flowers.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


ARRAN CHIEF  White skin, white flowers, tubers round shape with shallow eyes; late maturing, suitable for main crop; heavy cropper and good table quality.  (VDA publication, undated)  Whereabouts unknown


ARRAN CREST  A round white, early variety, white flowers, rarely blooms. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


ARRAN VICTORY   A blue skinned variety, round shape, white flowers, mid season maturing.  (VDA publication, undated)  Whereabouts unknown


ADIRONDAK  A red-skinned variety with pale purple flowers, round shape, mid season; fair cropper and quality.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


ASH LEAF KIDNEY  A first early, good cropper, kidney shape, white skin; flowers white centre, edged with blue; oldest variety still in cultivation.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


BEAUTY OF HEBRON  An early variety, good cropper and quality, skin white with purple blotches, kidney shape, white flowers.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


BINTJE  Originates from Holland and was released in 1910.  Fast becoming a popular fresh market potato.  Suitable for all culinary purposes.  Mid season all-purpose type with oval to long tubers, having a smooth pale yellow skin, shallow eyes and pale yellow flesh.  They have relatively few white flowers.  (TDA) (N)


BISMARK  An early variety, white skin with purple eyes. long oval shape, purple flowers; a good cropper, and quality.  (VDA publication, undated) Introduced to Tasmania about 1880 at which time it was known as Prince Bismark.  An attractive strain was isolated in 1928 which was known as Silverskin Bismark.  Over time it became known simply as Bismark. Country of origin thought to be Germany.  Excellent for boiling as a "new" potato and is suitable for chipping when mature.  Not a good baking type.  Plant is of medium height, open and erect with leaves a dull green in colour.  Flowers purple. Mis-shapen tubers tend to be produced if soil moisture fluctuates during the growing season.  Susceptible to powdery scab. (TDA)


BISON. Origin - USA. Round reddish-skinned potato with white flesh. Best roasted or boiled. Commercially available.


BLACK PRINCE  Deep purple blossom and tubers, kidney shape, late maturing.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


BROWNELL'S BEAUTY  (Brownell's)  A late variety, fair cropper; suitable for export; round shape, brownish red skin; dark purple.  (VDA publication, undated) Originated from the U.S.A. and thought to have been released about 1881, probably under the name of Adirondak.  Medium to late maturing variety with brownish-pink tubers with deep eyes and white flesh.  Excellent for boiling but baking quality inferior.  Chipping quality is satisfactory, but deteriorates later in the season. Brownell's are noted for their resistance to bruising which helps explain the high tonnages shipped to the Sydney market, particularly  during the '30's and 40's.


Plants are tall, vigorous and upright with red-purple flowers with white tips.  The tubers are susceptible to hollow heart under certain conditions, second growth, cracking and powdery scab, but only moderately susceptible to other potato diseases. (TDA)   (N)


BRITISH QUEEN  A second early variety, white skin and flowers; kidney shape tubers with blunted ends, good cropper, good quality. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


BROWNS RIVER   An old standard variety of which there are now few good samples available; flat-oval shape, purple flowers, purple skin; late maturing.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


CATRIONA  A mid-season kidney shape, purple flowered yellow splashed with blue skin and yellow fleshed variety; good cropper.


CARMAN EARLY (No1)  One of the most popular varieties grown; white skin and white blossom; flat oval shape, good quality; a standard early variety.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


CARMAN LATE (No3) A good cropping mid-season ripener, white skin and blossoms, long oval shape; a sport by bud variation of Early Carman. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


CLARK MAIN CROP or LANGWORTHY  A fine quality late late variety, flat oval shape, white skin, good cropper; purple flowers. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


COOKS FAVOURITE  Same as late Carman.


CORONATION  A fair cropping variety, purple blotched with white; round to flat oval tubers, late maturing; flowers white; good carrier; a sport by bud variation of Breese's Prolific.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)




DELAWARE  Kidney type, first early, white skin and flowers, good quality croppers; same as "State of Maine"  (VDA publication, undated)  (N)


DESIREE. Origin - Holland. Pale pink skin and light creamy flesh. Good for boiling or roasting. Commercially available.


EARLIEST OF ALL  Kidney type, white skin, white flowers, very scarce; heavy cropper and fine quality; a remarkably fast tubering variety; on account of its exceptional all round merit, this variety is fast coming into favour amongst growers.  Table sized tubers of this variety have been dug 40 days from date of planting.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


EARLY NORTHER  An early variety with oval shaped, pink-skinned tubers, white flowers, probably selected from Vermonts.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


EPICURE  A first early variety, white flowers, white skin with often a purple blush at the crown, and always some pigment at the heel of young tubers; a good cropper, round tubers, deep eyes.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


EXCELSIOR  A large variety, pink skin, deep colour in the eyes, round shape, dark purple flowers; a good export variety; late maturing. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)




FACTORS   Flat oval tubers, white skin, purple flowers; late maturing; resembles Up To Dates.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


FIELD MARSHAL  An Up To Date type with russetted skin; purple flowers, and yellow flesh; late maturing.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


GREEN MOUNTAIN  An early variety of the Carman class, white skinned tubers, flat round shape and white flowers.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


GOLD COIN  An early variety of the Carman class, with yellowish white skin and white blossoms and oval tubers.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


GREAT SCOT  A round white mid season variety; White flowers; fair cropper.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


KATAHDIN  Good flavoured, old fashioned potato variety. (N) (A)


KENNEBEC. Origin - USA. The most common white potato in greengrocers. Good for boiling, baking or frying.


KERRS PINK  A round shape, mid season variety with pink skin and white flowers.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


KING EDWARD  Origin - England. A pink and white blotched variety, kidney shaped tubers; a good cropper, good quality; purple flowers, mid season maturing. (VDA publication, undated) Commercially available.


KING GEORGE  A white skinned second early variety, white flowers, blunt cylindrical shaped tubers.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


KIPFLER  Originated in Austria. Unusual yam shaped (long and skinny with pointed ends) potato that is excellent for early plantings.  Creamy yellow flesh and skin. Nutty flavour when baked. Quite dry when cooked. Best boiled. Commercially available. (N)


LATE MANISTEE  A sport by bud variation from Early Manistee; pink skinned, flat oval tubers, good cropper, good quality, white flowers, mid season ripener.  (VDA publication, undated)  Whereabouts unknown


LATE HEBRON or ORR'S WONDER  A sport by bud variation from Beauty of Hebron; blotched pink and white skin, white flowers, long oval tubers, good cropper, good quality.  (VDA publication, undated)(Un)


MAY QUEEN  A first early variety suitable for market gardeners, white skinned tubers, kidney shape and pale purple flowers.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


MANISTEE  An early variety with pale pink tubers, good quality, fair cropper.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


MANHATTEN  Mid season; tubers blotched purple and white, flat round, good cropper, fair quality; suitable for export, flowers pale purple. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


MINATO (or Black Manhatten)  A late variety; purple skin and flowers; heavy cropper, flesh white streaked with purple; good quality; a good export variety.  (VDA publication, undated)  Whereabouts unknown




NEW ZEALAND PINK EYE  An early variety, round shaped tubers with deep eyes, skin white with pink eyes, purple flowers.  (VDA publication, undated)


NICOLA Dutch origin. Very yellow flesh and skin. Flavour - quite buttery and slightly sweet. Creamy texture but firm. Take slightly longer to cook than other varieties. Great for all uses. Commercially available.


PATRONE  (A) Origin - Holland. Light yellow skin and flesh. Firm, waxy texture - excellent for steaming or boiling. Good for potato salad, roasting & baking, gratin dishes & roesti. Not well suited to mashing. Commercially available.


 PEACH BLOOM   A late variety, red skin, flat oval shape, dark purple flowers.  (VDA publication, undated)   (Un)


PINK EYE Origin - Australia. Round, cream skin with pink eyes. Yellow waxy flesh. Best baked or boiled. Commercially available.


PINK FIR APPLE Origin - Holland. Banana shaped, Pink skin with yellow waxy flesh. Best roasted or boiled. Commercially available.


PLUNKETT  A blue skinned, rough round late maturing variety; purple flowers, good cropper, fair quality; a good export variety. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


PONTIAC   (A) PROLIFIC  (or BREESE'S PROLIFIC)  Origin - USA. A round variety, red skin, white flesh.  Best for boiling/mashing. Commercially available.


PRESIDENT  A late round oval variety, white skin, reddish heliotrope flowers, pale yellow flesh, good cropper.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


PURPLE BISMARK  Cylindrical, with a banana type bend and round ends (semi yam shape), purple skin and white flesh.  (N)


PURPLE CONGO  (A) Origin - South America. Long, tubular and bumpy. Purple/brown skin and purple flesh.  Best boiled. Commercially available but rare.


RED CRAIG ROYAL Origin - Scotland. Oval potatoes with deep pink skin and creamy white flesh. Best for boiling/mashing. Commercially available.


RED SMOOTH   A coarse yellow-fleshed variety, deep eyes, late maturing, good carrier.  (VDA publication, undated)  Whereabouts unknown


ROYAL JERSEY KIDNEY  A second early variety, very prolific, flat oval, white skin; white flowers rarely open, but drop in the bud stage; good cropper, up to 40 tubers per plant.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


RUBY RED  A rough round red skinned variety, deep eyes, late maturing, good cropper; purple flowers; good export variety, fair quality. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


RUSSETT BURBANK   An American cultivar that is reputed to have come from one of a number of seedlings of the Early Rose Cultivar growing in the garden of Luther Burbank, the noted American Horticulturists. About 1906 a russetted mutant was found, named Russett Burbank. Excellent for baking and French fry production. (TDA)     (N)


SEBAGO Origin USA. Oblong potato with white skin and flesh. Best for mashing or baking. Commercially available.


SHARPES EXPRESS  An early maturing variety; kidney shape, white skin and white flowers.  (VDA publication, undated)  Whereabouts unknown


SKERICK  Came in from Ireland about 50 years ago.  Very restricted distribution.  Purple skin, white flesh.  (N)  (A)


SPUNTA. Originally from Holland. Light yellow skin and flesh. Medium-large, oval tubers. Shallow eyes. Good for chipping, sliced dishes and baking.


STATE OF MAINE  A first early kidney type, white skinned variety, white flowers; a good cropper and good quality.  Same as Delaware. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


SUSSEXRED  A late rough round, red skinned variety with deep eyes, and purple flowers; a good cropper and good export variety, poor quality. (Victorian bred, a cross between Ruby Red and New Zealand Pink Eye). (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


SUTTON'S ABUNDANCE   A fine mid-season or maincrop potato; flat round in shape, white skin and flowers.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


SCOTTISH TRIUMPTH  A flat round variety of the Up To Date type, tubers white, purple flowers; late maturing.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


SNOWFLAKE  A late variety with long round shaped tubers, white skin and pale purple flowers; heavy cropper. (VDA publication, undated) (EGOAA) (N)


TOOLANGI DELIGHT. Developed at Toolangi Potato Research Station, Victoria. Purple skin and pure white flesh. Good for mashing, baking, and making chips. Also good for making gnocchi. Commercially available.


VERMONT  A mid season variety, kidney shape, pink skin and white flowers.  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


VIOLETTE (Vitelotte, possibly Purple Congo)  Purple skinned, purple fleshed, yam shaped oddity.  Produces an abundance of tubers varying from pea size to banana size.  Needs a long season and good conditions to produce reasonable tubers.  (N)


WARRIOR  A late variety, Up To Date type, long oval tubers, purple flowers; a good cropper.  (VDA publication, undated) (Un)


WELLINGTON  A late variety, blue skin and purple flowers, oval shape tubers; good quality and good cropper; a cross between Brown River and New Zealand Pink Eye.  (Victorian Bred).  (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)


WHITE ELEPHANT  In 1890 the Gippsland Times of Sale did an article on the farming operations of Michael Landy of Briagolong.  He had trialed 77 varieties of potato and the one he thought best was White Elephant. He was growing two crops a year without irrigation.  White Elephant seems to be suited to growing without irrigation.  Produces an abundance of varying shaped, varying sized, good flavoured tubers.(N)


WHITE ROSE  An early variety, round shaped, white skin, white flesh and white flowers and good quality; not distinct from Early Carman. (VDA publication, undated)  (Un)











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