There are more than 600 scientific names for cultivated potatoes, but they fall into four species: Solanum ajanhuiri, Solanum curtilobum, Solanum juzepczukii and Solanum tuberosum. The lengthy list of names illustrates the variety of potatoes that are commercially grown.
Three of these species grow exclusively in South America. The remaining specie, Solanum tuberosum, grows throughout Europe and the United States. The classification of hundreds of potato names into the four species allows scientists to study disease trends among crops that share similar characteristics. About 100 potato species grow in the wild, and another 500 scientific names are assigned to them.