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Re: "Elephant Ear"??? Man, I hate that term!

  • Subject: Re: "Elephant Ear"??? Man, I hate that term!
  • From: "mossytrail" <mossytrail@hctc.com>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 18:09:23 -0800

>  Steve I find that just about all plants labeled
> commercially as  Elephant ear are Colocasias esculenta.
> The Xanthosomas are a bit harder  to find and I have
> rarely seen them commercially available. Yet many  times I
> have seen photos of Xanthosomas being used to sell
> Colocasias as  well as Alocasias. 

And the problem is not just in the nusery trade!  I have
seen photos of Alocasia and Xanthosoma being used
interchangeably even in what are supposed to be
identification guides.  In fact, I had to make note of this
fact in both my Aroideana articles.  In one of my sources, a
photo of Xanthosoma was used to illustrate a species account
of Schismatoglottis!

And when we consider popular books other than identification
guides, the problem is not limited to Araceae, either.  I've
lost track of the number of times I've seen photos of
seedling cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), too young to have
developed a trunk, incorrectly captioned as saw palmetto
(Serenoa repens).

With shenanigans like this going in on in paper
publications, it is no wonder the identifications on eBay
are such a mess.

Jason Hernandez
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