Crop: Potato (Solanum tuberosum)
Breeder: William Whitson Cultivariable
OSSI Pledge Date: 12/21/2018
Release Date: 12/21/2018
Bred for Organic Systems: Yes
Commercial Availability: Yes
Variety Type: Finished Variety
‘Rozette’ is a new fingerling potato variety that I am excited to offer for the first time this year. This variety was selected from progeny of the Pacific Northwest heirloom variety ‘Ozette.’ Ozette is probably one the first potatoes introduced to North America. It was given to the Makah people of the Olympic Peninsula by visiting Spanish explorers in the late 1700s. Ozette has a lot of great qualities. It is delicious, has a unique appearance, and tolerates our Western Washington weather very well. Unfortunately, it has very poor sexual fertility, so it is really difficult to breed with. The flowers tend to drop even before they open and those that do hang on tend to fail even if hand pollinated. I tried for years to make crosses and finally got two berries to hang on in 2016. I grew the seeds from those berries and selected Rozette as the best of the bunch. Many of the traits that like I like in Rozette are those that it shares in common with its parent. It has a similar size, shape, flavor, yield, and maturity to Ozette, but with deep red skin and white flesh with just a bit of red it in. It cooks up floury and is a great potato for roasting whole in the skin. The flesh becomes surprisingly yellow after cooking. From a breeding perspective, it is unfortunately a weak flowerer like its parent, but it is a little easier to work with.