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Sweetpotato Germplasm Management (Ipomoea batatas) Training manual

The sweetpotato is a plant that was probably originated in or near northwestern South America. The most common names for this plant in Latin America are batata, camote, boniato, batata doce, apichu, and kumara.


The systematic classification of the sweetpotato is as follows:

Family: Convolvulaceae

Tribe: Ipomoeae

Genus: Ipomoea

Sub-genus: Eriospermum

Section: Eriospermum

Series: Batatas

Species: Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.


The sweetpotato is a herbaceous and perennial plant. However, it is grown as an annual plant by vegetative propagation using either storage roots or stem cuttings. Its growth habit is predominantly prostrate with a vine system that expands rapidly horizontally on the ground. The types of growth habit of sweetpotatoes are erect, semierect, spreading, and very spreading.


The sweetpotato root system consists of fibrous roots that absorb nutrients and water, and anchor the plant, and storage roots that are lateral roots, which store photosynthetic products. The root system in plants obtained by vegetative propagation starts with adventitious roots that develop into primary fibrous roots, which are branched into lateral roots. As the plant matures, thick pencil roots that have some lignification are produced. Other roots that have no lignification, are fleshy and thicken a lot, are called storage roots. 4 Plants grown from true seed form a typical root with a central axle with lateral branches. Later on, the central axle functions as a storage root.


Huaman, Zósimo. "Sweetpotato Germplasm Management (Ipomoea batatas)." Training manual 218 (1999).