Yes, There Is a Tater Tot Plant That Grows Here in Minnesota
Yes, you read the right-- there really IS a tater tot plant and, yes, you can grow it right 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 US Bank Stadium back in 2018.)
But did you know you can actually grow a tater tot plant?!? That's right, you can. It's actually an arborvitae whose scientific name, according to Minnesota gardening site GardenBite.com, is thuja occidentalis. 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! The only thing better would have been that there's a type of well out there that will tap right into an unlimited Surly Furious tank and will allow you to fill up a frosty mug with 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.