Re: colocasia non-tubers

Dear Clarence Hester:

According to D.J. Mabberley's "The Plant Book" (an excellent reference that
I highly recommend) the genus Colocasia is comprised of 8 species of
tropical Asian TUBEROUS herbs with peltate leaves.  Your Colocasia
antiquorum is actually a variety of Colocasia esculenta and produces edible
small tubers that are called eddoes.  Also, your Colocasia fontanesii is
properly a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta that was previously described as
Colocasia violacea.  With this in mind, I am highly suspicious that the
reason you are not obtaining tubers on your various Colocasias is due to
horticultural problems.

Scott Lucas
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
P.O. Box 80
Papaikou, HI   96781

-----Original Message-----
From: Clarence Hester <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, December 03, 1997 10:24 AM
Subject: Re: colocasia non-tubers (repost of original)

>In response to Lester Kallus's post, I can share similar experiences.
>I, too, have never observed a corm development when digging up or
>transplanting C. antiquorum illustris, C. fontanesii or the "whatever
>you call it" solid black taro.  On the other hand, the latter two have
>been reliably ground hardy for me (zone 7b), while C. antiquorum
>illustris has
>survived in the ground, but with a diminished success rate.  The one
>time I tried to overwinter these in pots in a cool basement it did not
>work as well as just leaving them in the ground.  Also, storing bare
>root was
>a failure for me.
>Is it possible these plants develop corms under more favorable
>conditions or with age?  Is there such a thing as a "fleshy" corm?  For
>example, some Xanthosomas seem to have a turgid mass of tissue at the
>base, but not always with a hard "corm".  Similarly, I've overwintered
>(bare root) an Ensete ventrosicum maurellii (Abyssinian Black Banana)
>for several years now, and there's never been the typical, almost
>"woody" banana corm--just a thick mass of fleshy, almost spongy
>"plant-base".  Nonetheless, it comes back year after year even after
>months of dormancy.
>Clarence Hester

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