Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2010
Publication Date: January 7, 2011
Citation: Jackson, D.M., Harrison Jr, H.F., Thies, J.A., Bohac, J., Mueller, J.D. 2011. ‘Liberty’ Dry-Fleshed Sweetpotato. HortScience. 46:125-129. Interpretive Summary: Dry-fleshed sweetpotatoes, known as boniatos, are grown in south Florida to serve ethnic markets who desire a non-sweet variety. The leading boniato cultivars, such as Picadito, have little resistance to root-knot nematodes, and they have poor storage characteristics. To help serve the boniato market, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Charleston, SC, in cooperation with Clemson University, Edisto, SC, developed the sweetpotato cultivar ‘Liberty’ that has excellent nematode resistance and improved agronomic characteristics. ‘Liberty’ produces light-yellow, dry-fleshed storage roots and it has an attractive dark-red skin. This cultivar is highly resistant to nematodes and moderately resistant to some insect pests. ‘Liberty’ stores well, and does not darken after peeling as most boniato types do. 'Liberty' is a desirable cultivar for commercial growers that serve markets that prefer a dry, bland-flavored sweetpotato.
Technical Abstract: The sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivar, ‘Liberty’ was jointly developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and Clemson University, South Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Research System. This cultivar is a dry-fleshed type with attractive dark red-colored skin (periderm). Vine growth is vigorous with large chordate leaves that form a dense canopy. ‘Liberty’ is highly resistant to nematodes and moderately resistant to soil insect pests and Fusarium wilt. ‘Liberty' makes a large number of uniform, well-shaped storage roots with a scarlet skin color, cream to light yellow flesh color, and good baking quality. 'Liberty' is a desirable cultivar for commercial growers that serve markets that prefer a dry, bland-flavored sweetpotato such as the boniato-type ‘Picadito’ grown primarily in Florida in the US. The new cultivar is suitable for organic growers and home gardeners. Bedded ‘Liberty’ seed-roots produce a large number of uniform sprouts that transplant well. This cultivar flowers and produces seeds profusely, and makes an excellent polycross parent for the development of red-skinned, dry-fleshed cultivars.