King Edwardpotatoes, like the majority of European and North American potato varieties, are derivatives of the 'Rough Purple Chili' which was used as breeding stock after the 1840s Irish potato famine. The King Edward potato is one of the oldest of these varieties. It was developed by John Butler of Scotter, Lincolnshire, and introduced to Britain in 1902. It is one of the oldest surviving varieties in Europe. The Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 coincided with the introduction of this variety of potato and its name is believed to originate as a 'commemoration' of this occasion.
The King Edward potato is predominately white skinned with pink colouration. It is mostly oval in shape with a floury texture and shallow eyes. The plant is upright and tall with numerous stems and small green leaves. Its flowers are purple with white tipped petals.
King Edwards are not particularly prolific in terms of yield, but many people still grow them for their floury texture and their taste.
The King Edward potato is a main crop and in the UK it is traditionally planted in April for harvest in September.
It is suitable to be grown commercially or in the allotment and can even be grown in pots, although smaller first early varieties are a more advisable choice for pot cultivation.
To do well King Edwards require soil that is rich in humus (farm-yard manure/compost) in combination with feeding via a general fertiliser. It is also advisable to ensure plenty of watering during dry periods. Suggested spacing in a traditional plot are at a depth of 4in; spacing in row - 12-16in; width between rows - 28-30in. It is very resistant to Potato scab and offers some resistance to Potato blight but is susceptible to Potato cyst nematode.