An interesting potato to grow, with a few unusual characteristics
including good blight resistance and a curious "horizantal" growth
habit. These potatoes were developed over several generations by a family
If you doubt the late blight resistance of Sarpo Mira, look at these
First picture - late April planting, photographed 26 Jul 05.
The plant has been attacked by early blight (looks like it's
suffering from chicken pox) but the plant remains vigorous, and new
leaves (not on the picture, but I assure you they are there, sprouting
from the main stem) are unblemished. Neighbouring potato plants (Anya,
Mandel, Salad Blue) are collapsing with varying degrees of blight.
Golden Wonder is OK but the leaves are looking tired and late blight
is starting to attack the leaf edges.
Second picture ... tuber sown 10 June. Also photographed 26 July.
The leaves are pristine and unblemished, in a year of high blight pressure.
It's missed the early blight, and is about to flower. To
a potato grower, the appearance is astonishing for late July. There is no trace
of blight or other leaf disease.
Some flowers very pale or white:
Update, 23 Aug: Two more interesting observations on this
1. The plants can regenerate to a greater degree
than most other varieties.. As old leaves die off, new ones form.
I have seen this in young potato plants of other varieties
but not in older ones.
Picture: 23 August; new leaves replacing old. Plant in
container; 18 weeks old.
2. More evidence of regenerating - plant pulled out of container
at 15 weeks on 20 July, tubers harvested, soil removed entirely
from roots; plant repotted in new compost. Photo taken on 23 August.
Numerous fresh leaves; effectively a new plant.
Something I have noticed, however - it may be best not to put
Sarpos in too early;
mine were badly hit by "early blight" (alternaria) when sown before June. (Note that this disease is NOT blight). Later-sown tubers were fine.
Very similar in taste, texture and appearance to Romano. The
flavour has a pleasant buttery edge to it, a bit like Anya. The dry matter is a lot lower than Golden Wonder - I'd rate it as
"fairly floury" - about 5 or 6 on the DM scale, and it doesn't
disintegrate on steaming. Good as a salad potato - doesn't go damp and
clammy if kept until the next day.
At the time of writing (18 Sept)
my remaining Sarpo plants still have good clean foliage.
Seed tubers of this variety can be obtained from JBA Seed Potatoes by clicking the link below:
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
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