General Question

ukasaka's avatar

What are these things growing on our red potato plants?

Asked by ukasaka (57 points ) September 20th, 2008

We found these growing on our red potato plants today. I’ve posted two images; one of the inside, and one of the outside.
Any ideas?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Harp's avatar

That, believe it or not, is the actual fruit of the potato plant

Don’t eat them, though; they’re toxic

JackAdams's avatar

Harp, you may have just saved some lives, today. I’m not joking.

You should be very proud. I know I am..

Harp's avatar

shucks

JackAdams's avatar

Those are OK, actually, but the ears of the corn are more enjoyable to eat.

Harp's avatar

sucks

Nimis's avatar

Hmmm…I wonder why nature thought it’d be a good idea
to put something toxic next to something so tasty?

To keep animals from eating it?
Then why make it so tasty in the first place?
And what keeps the toxicity from spreading?

Harp's avatar

Potatoes, like tomatoes, eggplants, tobacco and petunias, are members of the Nightshade family. A characteristic of these plants is that they produce alkaloids, chemical compounds that are extremely toxic in some forms, benign or medicinal in other forms. The nicotine in tobacco is a non-toxic alkaloid.

The alkaloids are concentrated in different parts of the plant in different species. The In potatoes, the tubers are relatively free of the toxins, except when the tubers turn green in reponse to light and begin to sprout (that’s why it’s always recommended to trim away green patches and sprouts on a potato before cooking). The foliage of tomato plants is high in toxins, but the fruits get spared.

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