Re: Xanthosoma saggitifolia (malanga) or "Taro"? (fwd)

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Date: Sunday, June 14, 1998 10:43 PM
Subject: Re: Xanthosoma saggitifolia (malanga) or "Taro"? (fwd)

>> The elongate tubers of "malanga" (NOT taro, which will be more egg-shaped
>> and larger) with the pink tip will either be X. violacium, OR a new (to
>> species that grows with green leaves; it originates (is grown)
>> in Costa Rica, while "true" X. violacium which is a beautiful plant has
>> purchased in Jamaican stores as "red co co".

>Julius, could you tell more about what is this new species, and what are

>>When I was in Costa Rica two years ago, there was a Xanthosoma occurring
large numbers in a clearing in the cloud forest near Monteverde, which the
local plant expert Willow Zuchowski told me was a new, undescribed species
formerly thought to be X. jacquinii..  Since this is the only Xanthosoma
species I have ever seen in life, I do not know what distinguishes it from
others, but it had green petioles on a banana-tree-like trunk, deeply
leaf venation, rows of circles ringing the trunk (which I took to be
adventitious roots), and white spathes with dark red basal spheres.  Since I
had no idea how properly to prepare an herbarium specimen of such a plant, I
did not collect one, but for whatever it is worth, I did write a detailed
description (in Spanish) of one individual plant in the stand.

Jason Hernandez<<

Dear Jason,
This sounds like and may be the plant that produces the "malanga lilac"
being sold at local
Winn Dixie stores, and which I saw being propagated here by a friend.  Also,
Kryzsztof Kozminski has grown a plant of this from the commercially
available "malanga lilac", thinking he would obtain X. violacium, which I
got previously by growing tubers of "red co co" purchased at a Jamaican
grocery locally.  I am unable to tell the two types of malanga/red co co
apart when they are tubers, so have potted one of each to observe their
development.  Will keep you informed.

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