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Re: The Many Faces of Taro

  • Subject: Re: The Many Faces of Taro
  • From: brian lee <lbmkjm@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 08:43:04 -0800 (PST)

Dear Jason.

Aloha.  From your Aroidiana article, I know you've
been at large in Hawaii.  Were you studying
naturalized aroids in Pohnpei?

Were you able to learn details about the indigenous
use of the various taro in Micronesia?  How they
prepare and cook the various forms, etc?
Do the native Pohnpei people consider their plants
sacred as in Hawaii?

Now were you able to see ruins of Nan Madol?  I would
be interested to know if there are any agricultural
evidence associated with the archaeological
site....especially Cyrtosperma.  Did you witness any
evidence that Cyrtosperma endures brackish conditions?
How about Metroxylon amicarum, the Caroline Ivory Nut
Palm?  Did you see any evidence of cutural
associations with this species and are the native
people currently utilizing any parts ethnobotanically?



--- mossytrail <mossytrail@hctc.com> wrote:

> 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
> muddy.
> Too bad I never had the opportunity to taste that
> local
> "taro."
> Jason Hernandez
> Naturalist-at-Large
> _______________________________________________
> Aroid-L mailing list
> Aroid-L@www.gizmoworks.com
> http://www.gizmoworks.com/mailman/listinfo/aroid-l

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