“Egg and Chips” Plant Produces Two Vegetables

Published online: Jan 06, 2016 Ryan O'Hare
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Is it a “potagine” or an “aubertato”? 

A new plant that can grow two types of vegetables in the same pot has been developed.

British horticulturalists have spent years carrying out grafting trials to produce the dual-cropping plant nicknamed “egg and chips.” The plant grows aubergines, also known as eggplants, from its stem, and potatoes as tubers under the soil.

Experts experimented with more than 20 varieties of eggplant before selecting one that was deemed best for size and performance.

They then carefully cut the delicate 2-inch-tall stems of the aubergine and potato plants in half at an identical angle before grafting them together. The lower end of the potato plant and the top part of the aubergine naturally fused together and continued to grow. The end result is an average batch of four big, purple vegetables on the stem, with about 5 pounds of potatoes under the soil.

The egg and chips plants are now being sold by British seed company Thompson & Morgan

A spokesman said the new dual-cropping plants will save space and are ideal for growers with small gardens or confined spaces like a balcony. It is also hoped the product will excite children and get them interested in horticulture.

Experts are not disclosing the exact variety of aubergine and potatoes used in the grafting for fear their work will be copied. The two vegetables belong to the same plant family, Solanaceae, commonly known as the nightshade family.

The more hardy potato plant supports the more delicate aubergine far better than its own root system can in the British soil where the plant has been developed. The new plant can grow in most sunny, sheltered spots in a garden, or in a pot on a patio or balcony.

Michael Perry, product development manager for Thompson & Morgan, said, “Egg and chips is a real innovation. For seasoned vegetable growers, this is a really novel development. For those without the luxury of an allotment or large vegetable patch it makes the most of available space in the garden. 

“Even the smallest patio or balcony can accommodate a pot-grown egg and chips plant,” Perry continued. “The aubergine variety chosen for the grafting process is a modern strain that has had the bitterness bred out of it so you can simply pick, chop and cook it.”

 

Source: Daily Mail