Help in identifying a taro cultivar


Dear All

I am wondering if someone could help me with an identification of 'a 
taro'.

Last week I was on holiday in Cairns, in north-eastern Queenland, 
Australia.  While visiting the local botanical gardens I saw a most 
beautiful taro.  The leaves were completely reddish purple in colour 
with a mat finish.  The leaves came out green, veins purple, and 
turned green with age.  The largest plants were about 2 feet tall.  I 
suspect the plant multiplies by offsets but perhaps also runners.  
I was told by the Curator of the gardens that it was a cultivar of 
Colocasia esculentum.  Can anybody offer me more information than 
that?  Or better still a piece of the plant!  I took a few photos but 
they have not been developed as yet.

Should anybody be visiting Cairns, I recommend a visit.  It is in 
tropical Australia and (to my eye anyway!), it has wonderful 
collections of aroids, palms and gingers in a well landscaped 
setting.

Thanks in advance

Eric Walton
New Zealand
ewalton@hort.cri.nz 


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