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Ipomoea costata – Desert Potato (seed)



Ipomoea costata is a semi-prostrate scrambling vine with heart shaped leaves and funnel shaped rose/purple flowers with a dark throat. Native to sandy arid parts of Northern Australia (NT and WA). I. costata is a native whose tubers were an important food source for Aborigines. Closely related to the sweet potato it produces large, tasty tubers. Tubers can be as large as an adult head and can occur 0.5-1m below ground level. Aboriginals used to thump the ground to listen for a change in sound that would indicate the presence of a large tuber worth digging for.

Care and Cultivation Seeds should be hot water treated before sowing. Place seeds in a cup and pour just boiled water over them and leave to soak for 12-24hrs. Otherwise, seeds can be slightly nicked away from the embryo and soaked in water overnight to speed germination. Likes adequate water over the growing season and a full-sun to part-shade position in well drained soil. Quite tolerant of dry and hot conditions. Grows in sandy and clayey soils of inland Australia. Treat as similar to cacti in winter and limit or abstain from watering as you will encounter rot problems.

10 seeds per packet


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