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Re: The Many Faces of Taro

  • Subject: Re: The Many Faces of Taro
  • From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973@wp.pl>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 04:08:20 +0100

Hello Jason,

So here it's me again with this controversive stamp from Micronesia, recently when I sent this to Aroid-L, it was identified as Colocasia esculenta, according to the book by Deni Bown where she wrote
that in the Oceania C. esculenta has not peltate leaves.
Now you put me in a different light explaining that the plant can be a species of Cyrtosperma. I haven't seen C. chamissonis, so I can't tell which of the plant is there on the stamp.
Could you please help me, it's very important to me.

Marek Argent

----- Original Message ----- From: "mossytrail" <mossytrail@hctc.com>
To: <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 6:13 AM
Subject: [Aroid-l] The Many Faces of Taro

I recently visited Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.
I saw some very large, sagittate aroids there, and asked
what they were.  "Taro," was the reply.

Later, I got a fuller explanation.  As my native guide and I
walked along a roadside, we saw four species, which he
explained to me thus:  Colocasia esculenta, the
green-petioled variety, he called "Tahitian taro;" the
purple-petioled form, he did not know the name.  Alocasia
macrorrhizos, he called "wild taro," saying that in former
times, it was used for food, but no longer.  Xanthosoma sp.,
he called "Hawaiian taro."  And Cyrtosperma chamissonis, the
kind I had originally seen, he called simply "taro," and
said it was the local variety.

In my several days there, I found that Cyrtosperma was the
most widely grown kind, in swampy mountain forests as well
as villages.  Green-petiole Colocasia was next.  The other
three were seldom seen.  Cyrtosperma seemed to grow equally
well in sun or shade, provided the soil was sufficiently

Too bad I never had the opportunity to taste that local

Jason Hernandez
Aroid-L mailing list

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