RE: colocasia non-tubers

From: on behalf of Scott Lucas
Sent: 	Wednesday, December 03, 1997 11:54 PM
Subject: 	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<<

Dear All,
I have resisted getting in on this one, but it has occured to me that perhaps 
the length of your growing season for these normally tuberous plants is too 
short.   Perhaps you could try starting them earlier under lights and heat, 
which just may give them enough time to grow, then before it begins to go 
cool, you slow down on the water, (which fools the plants into "thinking" that 
the dry season is here) at which point they should and normally will produce a 
tuber of tubers BUT OVER A PERIOD OF A COUPLE MONTHS ! !.   I think that we 
are asking too much of a tropical plant that takes a full year (or more in 
many cases) to complete its cycle of growth, sometimes flowering, THEN a slow 
tuber production in preparation for an extended dry dormancy, to do it all in 
the few normally warmish months provided by mother nature in northern climes.  
Try some indoor lights/heat and see what happens.
Also, I believe that Colocasia is grown in the Carolinas for the tubers, as I 
saw an article on the coastal people (the Gullas?) and I believe that there 
was a photo of the plants.  This was in National Geographic a couple of years 
ago.  Maybe a member or lurker in this district could ask around and fill us 
in on the growth cycle/ times in this area???
Cheers and good growing.

-----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

Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index