Wait, There IS A Tater Tot Plant That Grows in Minnesota?
Yes, it's true. There IS a tater tot plant. And, yes, it does grow here in Minnesota!
While it's not necessarily listed as our official state food here in Minnesota, Tater Tot Hotdish is one of the many great things associated with the Land of 10,000 Lakes. (Heck, Jimmy Fallon even had some when he hosted the Tonight Show here in Minnesota, during the hoopla surrounding Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium back in 2018.)
But did you know you can actually grow a tater tot plant?!? That's right, you can. And, seeing as it's only early July, you might actually be able to plant one now and have it bloom yet during the 2020 growing season. According to the garden site, GardenBite.com, it's actually an arborvitae whose scientific name is thuja occidentalis-- but it's better known as the Tater Tot.
Here's the thing, though. Sorry to disappoint, but the thuja occidentalis DOESN'T actually produce any actual tater tots. It gets its name because it just LOOKS like a tater tot. According to PW-ProvenPlants, a plant and seed brand, the thuja occidentalis grows with "neat, rounded habit and evergreen foliage," which does kind of resemble a tater tot as it grows in your garden, the site notes.
For a minute there, I thought this might be the best news I've read since I moved to Minnesota! I mean, we already have tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans and a jalapeño pepper plant in our garden in Rochester-- a tater tot plant would really round things out, wouldn't it?
The only thing better would have been if there's a type of well out there that will tap right into an unlimited tank of Pryes Brewing's Mass Haze-teria IPA that would allow you to fill up a pint glass right from your garden hose. (Sady, that doesn't exist, either...yet!) The Tater Tot is still kind of a cool-looking plant, though. You can check it out HERE.