Sweet potatoes are most commonly known as a side dish at Thanksgiving dinner, but they can be incorporated into dozens of tasty dishes throughout the year (although November and December hold the root in its prime). Sweet potatoes are nutritious, high in antioxidants, vitamin A (giving it an orange color from beta-carotene), vitamin C, maganese, copper, fiber, B6, iron and potassium. Sweet potatoes come in an array of varieties, each having a range of flavors, colors and sizes.
Covington is popular in grocery stores and has a heavy, larger than average size. It has rose-colored skin and a succulent orange, meaty flesh. When maturing, the leaves are heart-shaped and bright green. Covington can be harvested about 100 days after planting.
Beauregard is not popular as it can be slow to mature and is a poor producer. The rose-colored skin covers firm orange flesh. This plant does not do well in heavy soils. Beauregard is an ideal storing sweet potato and can be harvested about 115 days after planting.
With long purple stems and red skin, Hernandez can be harvested about 120 days after planting. The flesh is thin and slightly grooved, covering succulent, orange meat. The green leaves have purple veins running through them.
O'Henry, a variant of Beauregard, has white- to copper-colored skin and white meat that is moist. The leaves are dark green and heart-shaped, with light purple to green vines. The flesh is a little more dried out than Beauregard, but the harvesting times are about the same.
Sweet potato Evangeline is prized for its beautiful appearance with rosy skin and almost burnt orange meat that is incredibly juicy. The size is smaller than the others. This variety contains an abundance of sucrose, so it is a popular choice for baking and microwaving. Harvest is about 110 days after planting.
Puerto Rican has a smooth, light texture and rich sweet potato flavor. The skin is copper-colored and the flesh is red-orange. The Puerto Rican's size is about average for a sweet potato--4 inches long. The leaves grow heart-shaped and light green. Harvest is around 130 days or more.
The Japanese variety has a range from red to purple skin with cream colored meat. They are a little drier than the other varieties, but cook sweet for this reason. The leaves grow heart-shaped and dark green with light purple undertones. Harvest is at around 120 days
Purple Sweet Potato
Probably one of the most commonly used purple potato, Purple Sweet Potato is ideal for gourmet dishes with its purple skin and rich, indigo meat. The size is about average for a sweet potato with long tapered ends. Harvest is in about 100 days.