The illustration representing the Virginian Potato in Gerard's Herball is the first figure ever published of this plant. The plant was originally grown in America. Gerard received roots of the plant from Virginia where he was able to successfully grow it in his own garden. Gerard's description of the plant follows: "Virginian potato hath many hollow flexible branches trailing upon the ground,...from the which knots commeth forth one great leafe made of divers, leaves, some smaller and others greater,...the root is thicke, fat, and tuberous, not much differing either in shape, colour, or taste, from the common Potato's, saving that the roots hereof are not so great nor long, some of them as round as a ball, some oval or egge-fashion, some longer, and others shorter; the which knobby roots are fastened unto the stalks with an infinite number of threddy strings."

Return to Gerard Homepage