Traditional Kumara Varieties

There are at least four pre-European varieties of kumara (Ipomoea batatas). which survived to the present day. We have been able to obtain three of these:


In the first season of growing kumara in the Robin Hood Bay garden we only had access to the taputini variety. In the second season we were able to get seed tubers of all three, and the two new ones were grown in a separate garden at Whatarangi.

The best known plant is the taputini variety. This cultivar is characterised by its deeply lobed leaves and compact bushy habit of growth.

The tubers are typically elongated with a yellow skin and grow like a series of fingers pointing downwards in the soil.

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