The Potato Blossom Festival in O’Leary, P.E.I., may have just finished, however, driving around the Island roads this time of year is particularly beautiful as the potato fields are now out in blossom.
Potatoes are annual plants, and like most annuals will produce flowers. While each variety is different, most potato varieties start to flower at about 45-50 days after planting. Some varieties have more flowers than others do, but most will keep flowers for about 30 days. Flowers will fall off and the plant will be ready for harvest within 30-45 days.
Each variety flowers into a different beautiful colour – pink, purple, white, yellow and many varying shades in between. There is no hard and fast rule that color of the flower correlates with the color of the potatoes under the plant; however, dark pink flowers often indicate red tubers. The most popular variety on PEI, Russet Burbank has a sparser white flower. Shepody is purple and Superior has a lilac coloured flower.
No matter the colour, blossoming potato fields contribute to the gorgeous landscape for which PEI is famous. They make a visual contrast with some of the grain, oilseed and forage crops that farmers also grow in rotation with potatoes, in order to promote soil health. Snap a photo and share it with us by tagging #peipotatoes on social media. Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@pei_potatoes), Facebook (/PEIPotatoes), or Twitter (@PEIPotatoes) to see many shots of blossoming fields!