Desired as a ornamental garden plant in the 16th century

In the 16th century the potato was imported into the botanical gardens of Europe because of its attractive flowers and luxuriant leaves. In the Rubens Gardens the carnation ‘Rubens Palet’ was growing so well that the gardener had to divide them within the year! On the other hand the potatoes in the flowerbeds did confuse the visitors. They asked if the garden would be converted into a potato field as they could not imagine how these potatoes with their dried leaves would add to the garden’s ornamental value and attractiveness in late summer / early autumn. To increase the acceptance of the potatoes these are planted ever since in ornamental pots.