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What are sweet potatoes ?

The sweet potato, a trailing perennial plant (Ipomoea batatas ) of the family Convolvulaceae (morning glory family), native to the New World tropics.

Cultivated from ancient times by the Aztecs for its edible tubers, it was introduced into Europe in the 16th century and later spread to Asia. It is now the most important of tropical root crops and is grown in many varieties (differentiated by their leaf shapes).

Sweet potatoes are used mostly for human consumption but are sometimes fed to swine. They yield starch, flour, glucose, and alcohol and are especially rich in vitamin A. The sweet potato is sometimes confused with the yam, which belongs to another family.

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