Re: Help in identifying a taro cultivar

On Tue, 12 Aug 1997, Alan Galloway wrote:

> On Aug 12,  9:36am, Eric Walton wrote:
> >
> >              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.
> Sounds exactly like Colocasia 'Black Magic, aka, C. 'Jet Black wonder'
> This plant was originally discovered in the Phillipines as an aquatic

Eric, Alan, et. al.,

As you may recall, I too have such a plant, acquired a few months back
from a local nursery specializing in aquatics for ponds. The name was
corrupted (they called it "Voodoo") but the description is identical.

Alan, you seem to know something about the origin. I assume it is indeed a
C. esculentum variety? Am I correct in inferring from your statement that
it was a chance mutation and discovery rather than a result of (human) 
selection and breeding? Are the inflorescences (mine hasn't flowered)
typical of C. esculentum, or unusual in any way? 

We find it remarkable for 2 reasons. One is the degree of color change in
the leaves - when they first unfurl, they are no darker than several other
varieties we've seen, but wind up black. Second, this change occurs very
quickly - just a day or so. It's definitely a winner, very striking. 


-- Steve Marak

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