Tucker Farms, Inc.
Certified Seed and Tablestock Potato Varieties
Peter Wilcox, syn. "Purple Sun", "Blue Gold"
Parentage: B0810-1 x B0918-5 (Beltsville breeding clones)
Released: 2007, jointly by ARS, NC, NJ, PA, ME, FL, and NY
Breeder/Agency: Kathleen Haynes, USDA ARS, Beltsville, MD

Commentary:  Peter Wilcox was bred specifically for flavor and high nutrition content to appeal to high-end restaurant chefs and gourmet potato markets. It was evaluated as USDA Beltsville variety B1816-8 for 8 years in 25 field trials where it received high marks all around. Dr. Haynes named this variety for Peter C. Wilcox, a professor (retired 2009) in the Spiritual and Pastoral Care Program at Loyola College, Baltimore, MD

Production Characteristics
  • Maturity: Medium-early to mid-season
  • Emergence: Excellent, 90 to 100% in field trials
  • Yield: A bit less than Norland Dark Red. Total yield: 283 cwt/a.; marketable yield: 231 cwt/a; seems to tolerate dry growing conditions better than most
  • Tuber set: May set high in the hill.  Increase seed spacing to 10 - 12 inches
  • Specific Gravity: 1.076 to 1.082, considerably higher than Norland Dark Red and Chieftain
  • Diseases: Resistant to powdery scab, golden nematode. Susceptible to silver scurf, common scab, late blight, early blight, fusarium dry rot, verticillium wilt, PVY, PVS, black dot and misshapen tubers. May be susceptible to growth cracks, hollow heart, second growth, shatter bruise and internal heat necrosis
  • Storage: long dormancy, about the same as Chieftain, i.e. about 5 months. Weight loss is about same as Superior and much less than Norland Dark Red
  • Markets: Specialty fresh markets, farmers' markets and boutique restaurants, though it also chips well.
  • Advantages: Good yields, attractive tubers, exceptional nutritional qualities. Chipping color is good out of 50 to 55 F storage
  • Other: Robust skin set will typically take a full three weeks after vine kill
Physical Characteristics
  • Plant
    • Growth habit/canopy: Spreading with good canopy
    • Inflorescence: Flowers are a dainty mauve with bright orange anthers
  • Tubers
    • Shape: Round to oblong shape, size tends to run smaller than Norland Dark Red
    • Skin color/texture: Medium purple skin color, moderately smooth to slightly netted skin (We have discovered rare tubers exhibiting half white-half purple, half red-half purple, and purple with red splashes.)
    • Flesh color: Medium to dark yellow flesh, purple streaks are occasionally reported
    • Shallow eyes
    • Fair to good appearance, "pretty", rated "attractive" in most field trials
Culinary Characteristics
  • Taste/Flavor: NY Times food editor: "a full earthy flavor with hints of hazelnuts." All we know is they are exceptionally tasty
  • Texture after cooking: Firm, but not waxy whether roasted, boiled, or sliced into wedges and fried, roasted, or grilled
  • Uses: Very good fried, boiled, roasted, grilled, chipped. Good baked. Excellent as French fries or hash browns. Caveat:  Peter Wilcox requires more cooking time than regular potatoes, chefs & cooks paying attention will need to adjust their cooking times
  • Presentation: Bright yellow-gold flesh, deep purple skin. For best effect use them with the skin on, but some complain that the purple skin turns quite dark when fried or baked
  • Nutrition: Antioxidants: Carotenoid content is 15% higher than Yukon Gold with predominant carotinoids being zeaxanthin and lutein. Vitamin C: over 40% of RDA.