TomTato: Plant that produces potatoes and tomatoes unveiled in U.K.

Shereen Dindar
Contributing Writer
Shine On
TomTato: Plant that produces potatoes and tomatoes unveiled in U.K.

Introducing the TomTato: a plant that produces both potatoes and tomatoes through a process called grafting. And surprisingly, it is not genetically modified.

The TomTato plant was unveiled on Thursday in the U.K. and New Zealand by gardening mail order company Thompson and Morgan, which is selling each plant for £14.99 ( CDN $25)

"Many people don't have that much space in their gardens and I imagine this sort of product would appeal to them," Guy Barter of the Royal Horticultural Society in the U.K. tells BBC.

Also see: How to peel a tomato

Above ground it is a standard cherry tomato plant, sprouting more than 500 cherry tomatoes, but beneath the soil reveals a patch of white potatoes hanging from the roots. The plant lasts for one season, with claims that it can be grown indoors or outdoors, in a regular 40-litre bag or pot.

The tomatoes and the potatoes won't taste any different, but the yield may be lower than traditional plants of each, says Kenneth Mudge, associate professor at Cornell University's agriculture department.

Also see: How to make tomato sauce at home

Similar plants have been created using grafting, a technique used for centuries, but the company claims this is the first grafted plant that is tasty enough to be commercially sold.

"It has been very difficult to achieve because the tomato stem and the potato stem have to be the same thickness for the graft to work," explains Thompson and Morgan director Paul Hansord.

What are your thoughts on this type of hybrid-plant? Does it appeal to you? Tell us in the comments below.