The 'Flora2k' system at:
is pretty handy for local name checks, but no 'eskimo potato'
An alta-vista search for "eskimo potato", finds a web version of this
story which includes:
"His journal entry for that date reads, "Extremely weak. Fault of
pot[ato] seed. Much trouble just to stand up. Starving. Great Jeopardy."
McCandless had been digging and eating the root of the wild
potato--Hedysarum alpinum, a common area wildflower also known as Eskimo
A check of Flora2k using the genus name reveals that its a bean:
Hedysarum alpinum L. - ALPINE SWEET-VETCH
var. americanum Michx. Synonymy: Hedysarum alpinum ssp. americanum
(Michx.) Fedtsch. , Hedysarum
americanum (Michx.) Britt.
var. grandiflorum Rollins Synonymy: Hedysarum hedysaroides auct.
non (L.) Schinz & Thellung , Hedysarum
var. philoscia (A. Nels.) Rollins Synonymy: Hedysarum philoscia A.
Used the 'gateway' option from Flora2k (Fabaceae) to get a full family
listing from the PLANTS database (big download) which indicates that the
1st two vars. listed occur in Alaska.
A check of the PLANTS data at
using common name and "*potato*" indicates that local name of 'eskimo
potato' not present