Potato Variety Maris Piper: origin and characteristics

Maris Piper is a versatile potato variety that is excellent for making chips and roast potatoes. They are the most widely grown potato variety in the UK – accounting for 16% of the total area grown in 2014. They are a golden-skinned, cream fleshed maincrop potato which has an excellent taste and is capable of high yields. They are highly versatile- they can be boiled with skins on, mashed, chipped, roasted, steamed and baked.

Origin

Maris Piper potatoes were first introduced in 1966 by the plant breeder H. W. Howard. The variety continued to be tested over the next 10 years so full adoption was in the early 1980s. They were specifically bred to be resistant to potato cyst nematode (Globodera rostochiensis) which is a major pest in potato production in the UK. Although the variety is resistant to this strain it is susceptible to another strain of potato cyst nematode (Globodera pallida).

Yield and dry matter

Capable of high yields (50-60t/ha) and will produce potatoes with a high dry matter, producing many potatoes on each plant.

Culinary aspects

The potato has a beautiful, mild flavour with a fluffy texture and creamy taste. They are a good potato variety to boil, steam and bake, but their real glory is for making chips and roast potatoes.

Potato characteristics

Large, oval- slightly flat, uniform shaped potatoes with a golden skin that is medium smooth, with cream flesh. When sprouting the potato will show a slightly red/violet coloured sprout base. They have few eyes which are very shallow set – this makes it excellent for washing and peeling.

Maris Piper potatoes
Maris Piper potatoes

Plant characteristics

Maris Piper will grow into a tall plant with medium thickness stems and will bloom in a red/ violet flower. The plant will produce a lot of potato berries. They are a maincrop maturity potato.

Maris piper plant flower
The flower of a Maris Piper potato plant

Resistance to diseases

Resistant to Potato Cyst Nematode (Globodera rostochiensis Ro1)

Medium resistance to blackleg, late blight on foliage and tubers skin spot and silver scurf

Low resistance to potato virus Y, potato cyst nematode (Globodera pallida) powdery scab and common scab. Correct timing of planting and exact levels of irrigation is a must if a good skin finish is needed.

Resistance to pests

Low resistance to slugs.

Resistance to damage

Higher resistance to bruising and splitting

Storage

Due to their high dry matter, Maris Piper will store well for a long time.

Summary

Maris Piper potatoes are a highly versatile, high yielding delicious potato variety. The potatoes are of even size and high in number per plant. The smoothness of shape makes it easy to wash, peel and prepare. It has medium resistance to many pests and diseases with the exception of Potato Cyst Nematode (Globodera pallida) common scab and slugs. It is important the crop is watered as the potatoes begin to form as this will prevent issues with common scab. Maris Piper potatoes are an excellent all-rounder, they make excellent mash, chips and roast potatoes. They are a favourite of both commercial and home growers.

Further reading;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maris_Piper

https://varieties.ahdb.org.uk/varieties/view/MARIS%20PIPER