Heirloom Sweet Potatoes

Heirloom sweet potatoes are the older-to-ancient varieties of native non-hybrid roots.

Hayman - heirloom variety

Although full of flavor, heirloom sweet potatoes have been forgotten by many in the mega agricultural environment in which we live. Why? They don’t appeal to most people.

Instead, varieties that have "mass appeal" because of their hardiness and look, like Beauregard and Jewell, get the agricultural mass producers’ focus. However, mass-produced sweet potatoes tend not to be as tasty as the heirloom varieties.

Decades ago, preservationists began to collect and save samples of the open-pollinated (nature’s way without human involvement) sweet potato varieties. These varieties have become known as heirloom sweet potatoes.

More than thirty of these varieties are listed below. Some, like Nancy Hall, Hayman and Yellow Jersey, may be easier to find in the United States than others.

Amish White Bunch


Brinkley White

Edna Evans

Frazier White

Ginseng Red

Golden Slipper


Indiana Gold

Ivis White Cream

Korean Purple


Margaret Bray

Maynard Family White

Millard Cooper

Nancy Hall

Old Brazil

Old Fashioned Southern Queen

Old Kentucky

Old Orange

Orange Oakleaf

Poplar Root

Pumpkin Yam


Red Wine Velvet

Ringley’s Porto Rico


Spanish Red


Tennessee Top Mark

Theodore Meece Old Fashioned White



White Yam


Yellow Jersey

Sweet potatoes are among many other heirloom fruits and vegetables, including carrots, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, corn and lettuce, grown today.

Heirloom sweet potatoes can be found in specialty produce markets and some farmer’s markets; and, slips (plants) can be purchased from marketers like the

Sand Hill Preservation Center

This marketer of sweet potatoes has been working to preserve heirloom varieties. They have set up a project that is both an educational tool and a concerted effort to preserve heirloom sweetpotatoes. They are working to ensure the preservation of as many varieties of sweet potatoes as possible. Check out their site, and others like

Duck Creek Farms

on our sweet potato Links page (where to buy sweet potatoes), and consider ordering some of the heirloom varieties for your garden. Your taste buds will be glad you did. 

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Go to Popular Varieties of Sweet Potatoes 

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