Written by Jonathan Wojcik with the aid of With the Will, Digimon Wiki and Wikimon


We're really rounding up the final stragglers from Digimon's first three years, which I think I said before, but I mean it, this week! Jagamon is a huge, Perfect level plant digimon that's supposed to represent a potato, which may not be immediately obvious, but kind of an "OHHHHHHHH!" moment once you've been informed. I love how the beginning sprout of the potato plant is its "tail," and just what a uniquely friendly looking beast this is in general. What's not to love about a huge, dopey potato monster with rocky potato skin armor? It's another that can surprisingly evolve into Rosemon, but it's also another that can surprisingly evolve into Ghoulmon. It also has an ultra-peculiar and total nonsense fusion evolution with no thematic connection at all, but we'll talk about that when we get to the product of that fusion evolution, which is kind of a ways off.

A good potato.

...Except OH, WAIT, MY FREAKIN MISTAKE I GUESS, people have been calling this Digimon a potato for 20 years and even its main attack is called "Smash Potato" so I just never stopped to question it, but as first pointed out by someone who is also a superior artist, Jagamon was never a potato. Our entire lives have been a lie.

Jagamon is none other than Dioscorea elephantipes, sometimes known as the "elephant's foot plant." What the HELL, pal!? I say directly into a mirror, because for one, I practically built half my life around explaining the biology behind cartoon monsters, and for another, this was already a plant I nearly bought once and was always fascinated by. I even nearly designed a monster of my own around this plant, and now that I think about it, it wasn't even all that different from Jagamon.

I have no excuse, no possible reason to have not immediately put this together myself. I just kept hearing this described as a potato digimon and I kept thinking "ah, sure, that sounds right."

This changes EVERYTHING?! Suddenly this one-off digimon is one of the most ultra-specific, exotic biology references in the entire franchise?!

Elephantipes is tuberous, but not even in the same sub-clade as a potato. A potato is a eudicot and the elephant's foot plant is a monocot. Duh!!!! It's also actually a climbing vine, but it's still the cool scaly turtle-like stem it's more famous for, a stem that CAN be cooked up like a potato, but only if you cut off all the armor and also get the nasty toxins out of it.