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About potatoes

The potato (Solanum tuberosum) is an herbaceous annual that grows up to 100 cm (40 inches) tall and produces a tuber - also called potato - so rich in starch that it ranks as the world's fourth most important food crop, after maize, wheat and rice. The potato belongs to the Solanaceae - or "nightshade"- family of flowering plants, and shares the genus Solanum with at least 1,000 other species, including tomato and eggplant. S. tuberosum is divided into two, only slightly different, subspecies: andigena, which is adapted to short day conditions and is mainly grown in the Andes, and tuberosum, the potato now cultivated around the world, which is believed to be descended from a small introduction to Europe of andigena potatoes that later adapted to longer day lengths.

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