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

  • Subject: Re: "Elephant Ear"??? Man, I hate that term!
  • From: "Tom Croat" <Thomas.Croat@mobot.org>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 12:07:38 -0500

Dear Steve:


            I quickly read through your page on Colocasia esculenta and found it very useful and thoughtful.  Certainly those elements that you have there represent what falls in the parameters of C. esculenta but I am no expert on this Asian genus.  I have never seen the very large plants grown by Brian Williams.  They would appear to be twice as large as any plant I have seen anywhere in cultivation.  Perhaps he is correct that it represents a tetraploid form.  At least one of the two smaller forms are what has been called Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum.  Check the pictures in Exotica.




From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of ExoticRainforest
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:15 AM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: [Aroid-l] "Elephant Ear"??? Man, I hate that term!


Thanks for the assist to everyone!  I've rewritten my web page on Colocasia esculenta which now reflects some of the information I've been sent.  Still more to learn but I think I've got a better handle on this now.



Steve Lucas




>  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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