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Abundant Future: Cultivating Diversity in Garden, Farm, and Field


Edinburgh Potato

Solanum x edinense

For Lizzie Sanders (1950-2020), finding a subject often began with a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, a twenty-minute walk from her home. She found a fascinating subject for her painting for this exhibition in an experimental plot of potatoes.

The Edinburgh potato was described in 1911 from specimens grown by RBGE, but it was being cultivated there earlier, from the mid-1800s. It is a cross between a domesticated potato and a wild Mexican relative, S. demissum. The Edinburgh potato’s resistance to blight is attributed to the Mexican parent, and this early cross is responsible for the blight resistance of many recent cultivars as well. In 2018, RBGE created a display of wild potatoes at the garden using plant material in the Commonwealth Potato Collection, and the opportunity to bring back the Edinburgh potato after a gap of about a hundred years presented itself.

In her tour-de-force painting, Lizzie created a well-balanced composition of three different plants, with complete information about each—vegetation, flowers, rarely seen developing fruit, and the potatoes themselves.


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Read more about this artist’s work: 23rd Annual

Abundant Future-sanders solanum-4b44x

Solanum x edinense

Edinburgh Potato

Watercolor on paper

13 x 20 inches

©2019 Lizzie Sanders

2024 ASBA - All rights reserved

All artwork copyrighted by the artist. Copying, saving, reposting, or republishing of artwork prohibited without express permission of the artist.

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