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Re: Xanthosoma

  • Subject: Re: Xanthosoma
  • From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 10:00:40 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Julius,

    As far as I know, X. atrovirens has a strong yellow parenchyma within 
the "rhizomes", but some clones are just whitish yellow. I am not so aware 
about the uses of this species, mainly in Northern America. An interesting 
thing to do is buy these plants in markets, grow them and take pictures. If 
pictures are posted in the web, we can try to give them some names. Not only 
you, but any other aroid-l member could do it. So we would start to clean 
all this Xanthosoma mess.
    Yes, probably the X. sagittifolium complex (including the golden 
Xanthosoma) originated in Central America (including the Caribbean Islands). 
The problem is that most of the original vegetation has been cleared there, 
the ancient cultures have gone and nobody knows if they were wild plants now 
in cultivation or if they are cultivars developed by Pre-colombian people. 
To make things more complex, most species were described based in cultivated 
species, with obscure procedence. To make things even worse, most of the 
species described by Schott were represented by type specimens destroyed 
during the II World War! Do you want a final consideration? Even if they 
were not destroyed, the slimy thing that Xanthosoma specimens turn into when 
they are dry would not help much anyway!!!! Maybe their DNA can say 
something about their origin, mainly if we compare with some wild collected 
relatives. I am considering doing this in near future.

                         Very best wishes,


>Dear Eduardo,
>You are probably correct, but IF there are TWO species being sold here as
>Yautia (or malanga) lilac, both with purplish rhizomes, both that grow to
>look pretty much alike, then what species is the yellow-fleshed tuber,
>called 'yautia amarillo', it has a black-skinned tuber, the inner flesh has
>a lighter cork-like thick layer around the yellow flesh, has a flavor of
>peanut/corn flour when grated and cooked in 'dumplings', or fried as
>'acaras'..   We have been refering this one to X. atrovirens.    I first 
>this rhizome being used grated and then folded and sealed as a 'covering'
>for spiced meat, these 'arepas' would be then deep-fried.   The photo was 
>a 'Natural History' Mag., street vendor was in the Dominican Republic.   
>rhizome has wire-like roots, and is generally sold around Christmas time, a
>seasonally popular food?   It grows leaves that are typically
>Xanthosoma-like, but they have a greyish 'cast', and have more rounded tips
>to the leaves lobes.   I BELIEVE that Lynn Hannon may have a plant of this
>The yellow/gold leaved Xanthosoma sp.that we see here in Florida was said 
>have been originally collected somewhere in Central America where it was
>being grown as a food-crop.
>Best wishs,
> >>Dear aroiders,
>     I have checked the marvelous Lester´s site (see the link below) and 
>found that there is a small error at the main page. The plant featured 
>is Xanthosoma atrovirens, not X. violaceum. Despite the leaves really LOOK
>violaceum (i.e. somewhat purplish), most of the aspect is given by the
>combination of the dark green color (i.e. atro - black, virens - green) 
>the wax effect at the surface (that make it appear somewhat blue). However,
>the petioles are green, and if we could see the main ribs below, they would
>appear green, not purplish. Both species are usually confused there in
>U.S.A., because both are usually sold with the same common names. If you
>want to see a real X. violaceum, take a look at Krzysztof´s page in:
>      Compare both pictures and you will never confuse them again.
>      Still on Xanthosomas, I have seen comments about the "Golden"
>Xanthosoma in this list. I have seen it cultivated here in Brazil and I 
>have some plants in my own collection (Xanthosoma is my favourite aroid).
>The biggest individuals I have seen are cultivated at the Burle Marx
>collection, and they became less golden with age. I have seen even 
>individuals there, but I still couldn´t find out what the hell is this
>plant! I am preparing an article ´bout the cultivated Xanthosoma, maybe to
>be submitted to Aroideana 2002, so I HAVE to discover it someday! By now, I
>think it is a form of the common X. sagittifolium, but I am not 100% sure.
>In fact, I am not even 60% sure... Did someone mention 40% sure?
>                                  Best wishes,
>                                          Eduardo.
> >From: "Scott Hyndman" <hyndman@aroid.org>
> >Reply-To: aroid-l@mobot.org
> >To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
> >Subject: Re: Yautia/Xanthasoma Sprouting
> >Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 12:08:47 -0500 (CDT)
> >
> >Susan,
> >
> >Please take a look at Lest Kallus' and Julius Boos' information at
> >http://www.kallus.com/aroids/ediblearoids.htm as this may be some of what
> >you are interested in.  If it is not, I am happy to help anyone develop
> >such
> >a Web page that you describe, and I am sure that Lester would be happy to
> >add to the excellent informational and image content of his pages.
> >
> >Best regards,  Scott
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