Re: colocasia non-tubers

Scott Lucas wrote:
> 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.


I don't know if you read the earlier post from Lester Kallus, but my
experience is not unique.  As to "horticultural problems", this may be
so, but it is not manifested in any other way with the plants.  For
example, I've actually had to rip C. fontanessi runners out of the
ground as they spread prolifically and tend to pop up in all
directions.  Also, my C. fontanessi always produces many fragrant blooms
during the
summer season.  To all appearances, there is not a "horticultural
problem" that I have observed.  In addition, the plants come back year
after year, so there's something viable living below the ground. It just
never takes the form of the typical "corm" found, for example,  when one
digs up C. esculenta.

As for C. fontanesii being a cultivar of C. esculenta, maybe so, but
there appear to be huge differences
in the growth habits of these two plants.  C. fontanessi appears to
propogate itself but sending out
runners some distance from the parent plant.  Also, C. fontanesii does
well as an aquatic.  I don't
know that this is true of C. esculenta.

Have you any direct experience growing these plants? If so, have you
obsserved corm development in
C. fontanesii?  I think that's the real question being asked.  I learned
a long time ago to take anything written in garden books with a huge
grain of salt.



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