English Name: Sweet potato
Common Indian Name (Hindi): Shakarkand
- The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a large, starchy, sweet tasting, tuberous root vegetable, belonging to the family Convolvulaceae (same family of plants as the morning glory).
- Sweet potato varieties exist in many colors of skin and flesh, ranging from white to deep purple.
- White and yellow-orange variety of sweet potatoes is most common.
- White variety of sweet potato is firm while the orange variety is softer.
- The orange variety of sweet potato is commonly marketed as a ‘yam’ in parts of North America. But the sweet potato is very distinct from the actual yam, which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires that sweet potatoes labeled as ‘yams’ also be labeled as ‘sweet potatoes’.
- Nutritionally, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of potassium and vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, copper, pantothetic acid and folic acid.