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Third gold for Potato Story at Chelsea Flower Show

Potato Story display
"This is a fantastic success for Morrice and Ann and truly showcases the diversity of potato."

The Potato Story, an exhibit without a single decorative bloom on show, has charmed Chelsea Flower Show judges into awarding a gold medal to Scottish potato aficionados Morrice and Ann Innes for the third year running – the only medals for a potato-only display in the show’s illustrious history.

The display, which included varieties bred at the James Hutton Institute and from the Commonwealth Potato Collection hosted in Dundee, acted as a showcase of the humble potato by highlighting more than 140 varieties and tracing its history, while drawing attention to its diversity and versatility in the garden and kitchen.

Morrice Innes’s display tells the tale of potato by highlighting a vast array of skin colours, shapes, and sizes while suggesting the best uses of each variety and the places where they come from.

In addition to species from Mr Innes’ own collection, original South American species from the Commonwealth Potato Collection hosted at the James Hutton Institute were showcased in the display.

The CPC is the UK’s genebank of landrace and wild potatoes held in trust by the James Hutton Institute with the support of the Scottish Government. The collection is one of a network of international potato genebanks. It comprises around 1500 accessions of about 80 wild and cultivated potato species.

Such genetic resources are priceless, comprising the basic resource for the improvement and adaptation of the potato crop. Seeds from the CPC were recently deposited in the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, marking the UK’s first contribution to the GSV.

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, congratulated Mr Innes and commented: “This is a fantastic success for Morrice and Ann and truly showcases the diversity of potato. We are happy that we were able to help and reveal only a fraction of the gem that is the Commonwealth Potato Collection.

“Given that new predictions estimate a global population of 11 billion by 2100 and potato has become one of the world's most important food crops, this collection will become even more valuable as it hosts future sources of genes for the generation of potato varieties with increased disease resistance, yield, sustainability and nutritive value. Furthermore, the Scottish Government must also be congratulated for underpinning funding for the collection.”

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Printed from /news/third-gold-potato-story-chelsea-flower-show on 01/02/23 09:20:53 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.