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wild mountain potato


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I have recently heard about a B.C. wild potato that grows in the higher elevations (like alpine).

Has anyone ever procured some? Eaten some? Can you get me some?

I realize this is a bit of stretch in terms of a request, but there could be someone out there with a taste for the obscure.

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The lonely Potato comes from south America- it is not a native plant; although there could be a bulb type plant maybe a cousin, but most night shades had been brought in from south America. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and many other vegetables were sent over to Europe and did not naturally occur there or here.

There are many wild plants that also have root or bulb like that are very tasty, the cattail has one very soft and sweet root that is almost potato like. But the potato as we know it today does not occur naturally in the wild.

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I'm pretty sure this isn't what you're thinking about, but Japanese mountain potato (yama imo) is available at Izumi-Ya on Alderbridge, near No. 3 Road in Richmond. It's got this weird slimy texture when raw, and is an essential ingredient in okonomiyaki (for the batter). I've also had it au gratin at Japone on Oak Street.

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The lonely Potato comes from south America- it is not a native plant; although there could be a bulb type plant maybe a cousin, but most night shades had been brought in from south America. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and many other vegetables were sent over to Europe and did not naturally occur there or here.

There are many wild plants that also have root or bulb like  that are very tasty, the cattail has one very soft and sweet root that is almost potato like. But the potato as we know it today does not occur naturally in the wild.

steve

Claytonia Lanceolata, I believe is the latin name and there is a locale in B.C. known as Potato Mountain.

I'm guessing that is the bulbous root that is eaten.

Who knows maybe it's related to the Japanese mountain potato.

Where's Dr. Nancy Turner when you need her?

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Well, I don't know where Dr. Turner is tonight, but I do have her phone number if you want it...

You may be more interested in Dr. Barbara Baker of the Potato Genome Project.

www.potatogenome.org

Perhaps she could dig up an answer for you. :biggrin:

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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I'm pretty sure this isn't what you're thinking about, but Japanese mountain potato (yama imo) is available at Izumi-Ya on Alderbridge, near No. 3 Road in Richmond.  It's got this weird slimy texture when raw, and is an essential ingredient in okonomiyaki (for the batter).  I've also had it au gratin at Japone on Oak Street.

Ah, I remember going to Haru on Thurlow and having Japanese mountain potatoes. Sigh. I miss that place.

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

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Potato Mountain and the Potato Range is in the Chilcotin (BC Central Interior) and is indeed home to "wild potatoes" or Claytonia Lanceolata. You need a helicopter, horse or ATV to access the area (unless you want to do a multi day hike from Tatlyoko Lake) and all that for a marble sized white tuber that takes quite a bit of effort to dig up. Most tourist go in the late spring to see them flowering (the eastern species are called spring beauties) along with other alpine flowers. They were once an important food source for the Tsilhqot'in First Nation but know it would be rare for any of them under 50 to have even eaten them. From what I have heard they are quite tasty but I have never put forth the effort or had the opportunity to try them. Wild onions are much easier to gather.

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Potato Mountain and the Potato Range is in the Chilcotin (BC Central Interior) and is indeed home to "wild potatoes" or Claytonia Lanceolata.  You need a helicopter, horse or ATV to access the area (unless you want to do a multi day hike from Tatlyoko Lake) and all that for a marble sized white tuber that takes quite a bit of effort to dig up.  Most tourist go in the late spring to see them flowering (the eastern species are called spring beauties) along with other alpine flowers.  They were once an important food source for the Tsilhqot'in First Nation but know it would be rare for any of them under 50 to have even eaten them.  From what I have heard they are quite tasty but I have never put forth the effort or had the opportunity to try them.  Wild onions are much easier to gather.

Thanks CC, Badiane and Stovetop for all your insights. Most appreciated.

Having spent a week at a dude ranch in the Caribou/Chilcotin, stories about the wild mountain potato have me thoroughly intrigued. Some folks are still foraging and eating them. The amount of edible plants up there is incredible. As luck would have it Country Cook, it seemed to be wild onion season. There were vast fields of them everywhere we went on horseback. They pack an oniony wallop and slipped a few into my sandwich on a ridge at 4000 feet.

Also made dessert with the soapalallie berries which were also in season.

Will check out the web link Badiane, post haste.

Thanks all.

Shelora

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Claytonia lanceolata

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/potato.htm

Physical Characteristics

   Perennial growing to 0.2m. 

It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats

Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Root - raw or cooked[61, 105, 161, 257]. Rather palatable[60]. The raw root has a pleasant radish-like taste, when baked it has the taste and texture of baked potato[212]. The roots can be dried, ground into a powder and stored for later use[257]. The globose tubers are up to 20mm in diameter[270]. Leaves - raw or cooked[61, 85].

Medicinal Uses

None known

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a damp peaty soil and a position in full sun[1, 164]. Requires a lime-free soil[164].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow on a peat based compost in spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 4 weeks at 10°c[164]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division of offsets in spring or autumn.

Very interesting plant- the root it seems is like a potato but from all what I have read I see no common connection.

steve

Edited by stovetop (log)
Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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