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Re: [aroid-l] Xanthosoma or Colocasia?

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Xanthosoma or Colocasia?
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 19:28:07 -0400
  • Seal-send-time: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 19:28:22 -0400

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Peter C Boyce 
  To: Leslie Georgeson 
  Cc: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu 
  Sent: Friday, July 11, 2003 1:47 AM
  Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Xanthosoma or Colocasia? 

  Hi Leslie<<

  Hello Pete and Leslie,

  Just to add my 'two cents' worth---first of all, I wish I could see the photos of the plant in question.    Dr. Eduardo Goncalves, perhaps the most knowledgeable researcher on the genus Xanthosoma visited us here in Florida last Sept., where he was honored as the recipient of the Monroe Birdsey award.   During his way-too-short visit we had MANY great discussions on the cultivated Xanthosomas, a 'pet' project of his.   Of great interest to me was that I pointed out to him a HUGE plant of what I have always head referred to as X. sagittifolium (it is presently growing just outside the rare plant house at Fairchild Bot. Gardens in Miami, this plant was miss-labeled as an Alocasia. sp).    He immediately ID`d it as what he believed to be X. robustum ( I believe this to be the name he applied, can you confirm this Eduardo??) and NOT X. sagittifolium.    We looked at several other specimens of this sps., and he said all were NOT X. sagittifolium!    These are the plants that produce the 'malanga blanca' of commerce, and have a somewhat bulate leaf blade.
  I also am growing some of what may be the green form of X. violacium, and the darker petiole form.   I will get the one sold as 'red co-co' in the Jamaican stores nearby, but it is getting more difficult to find the real one, as a cheaper import of what has a little 'red' in the flesh and on the growing point has become available, imported from Costa Rica, I am growing this also.   The one I find most interesting is the yellow-fleshed species importad from I think the Dominican Republic.    It generally looks like a bit of rhizome, rather than the more common flask-shaped 'offsets' from the other sps.    I am growing it, and the leaves are silver/gray, and the sinus is completely covered by growth down to the petiole, no naked area visible.  
  I can only hope that Eduardo can make some progress in his research in the near future and publish a paper which may clarify the taxonomy of the edible group of this most interesting and commercially valuable genus of aroid!

  Hope this may help!

  Julius Boos,

  >>Well, it's a Xanthosoma. I'm by no means an expert on these Latin American taro yams but I know a little that might be useful.

  This plant and several very like it are in the trade and commonly cultivated as Xanthosoma sagittifolium and certainly no-one would argue against applying that name. However, there are several species that might also be involved including X. brasiliense & X. mafafa and green forms of X. violaceum that are in cultivation and grown under the umbrella name X. sagittifolium.


    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Leslie Georgeson 
    To: Peter Boyce 
    Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 8:46 PM
    Subject: Xanthosoma or Colocasia? 

    Hi Peter,

    A friend from Florida is sending me starts off this giant plant.  The photo looks to me like Xanthosoma sagittifolium, but I would like your expert opinion, if you don't mind. Thanks. 


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