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RE: [Aroid-l] Frank`s Xanthosoma ID

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Frank`s Xanthosoma ID
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Sun, 09 Oct 2005 11:45:54 +0000

From : 	<Thomas.Croat@mobot.org>
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : Saturday, October 8, 2005 7:19 PM
To : aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
Subject : RE: [Aroid-l] Xanthosoma? Please help to ID

Dear Frank,

After reading Dr. Croat`s ID of your Xanthosoma as most probably being X. sagittifolium (below), I agree. I remembered that a couple years ago someone else had posted a photo of a plant very simular to your photos, and I had also incorrectly ID`d it as probably being X. violacium, and that Dr. Goncalves had then corrected the ID to it being X. sagittifolium.
My confusion is due to the fact that the plants that we in S. Florida had been calling X. sagittifolium for YEARS, turned out to be X. robustum, according to Dr. Goncalves, who ID`d a huge plant still growing near to the cafe at Fairchild Gardens in Miami as being X. robustum, NOT X. sagittifolium as it was labled as, and had been assumed to be for years. This X. robustum, a huge plant w/ bullate leaf blades, produces the 'white tannia/malanga blanca' edible rhizomes beloved as food by us Trinidadians and Cubans, but not Jamaicans! We could always get the 'red coco' in Jamaican stores, it grew to be X. violacium/nigrum. Then fairly recently yet ANOTHER edible rhizome appeared commonly in Super markets in S. Florida, the cataphylls at the growth tip are darker/brownish and 'tougher' than the light brownish cataphylls of X. robustum, and the rhizomes are more uniformly thickish/elongate and round/flask-like in cross section, unlike those of X. robustum which are much longer and more 'irregular'/'lumpy' in shape. These new darker colored, more flask-like shaped rhizomes grew to be plants like yours, and were confused, at least by myself, as being X. viloacium, the same as the Jamaican 'red coco', but were different, the petioles not as purple, and, like yours, with lighter colored leaf blade veins. Dr. Goncalves corrected my previous misidentification from X. violacium to TRUE X. sagittifolium, which are/were rare in cultivation here in Florida.
For those of you interested in the culinary merits of these different species, the true X. sagittifolium and X. violacium both cook to be 'drier', with a texture more like certain potatoes, while the X. robustum/white tannia/malanga blanca cooks 'wetter', more glutinous, and is favored by Trinidadians and some Latins, especially Cubans, in their soups.
It is also reported that X. robustum ("white tannia/malanga blanca") causes 'itching' of the skin and hands when being peeled, while the X. violacium (and X. sagittifolium??)
["red coco/malanga lilac"] lack this 'itching' while being handled. Well, oiling ones hands while handling these rhizomes prevents the itching, according to my late mother.
Good Luck and Good Growing.

Julius Boos

 I am pretty sure that your plant is Xanthosoma sagittifolium


-----Original Message-----
From: Frank [mailto:f_h_bln@gmx.net]
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 5:23 AM
To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
Subject: [Aroid-l] Xanthosoma? Please help to ID

Dear members,

some time ago I have bought some "taro" bulbs on Ebay. On the pictures below
is the resulting plant. I would like to know what species it could be. I
would guess it is Xanthosoma lindenii "purpurea"...What do you think.


Any ideas are welcome. thanx a lot!

Frank Hardung

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