I thought I`d start a discussion here on the genus Taccarum, another of the
seemingly little known South American Aroids that we read so little about,
but which turns up from time to time in collections. The GOA tells us
there are 5 species, from tropical and sub-tropical S. America, from N.
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru.
I was given a tuber of what I think is T.weddellianum last fall, and I must
"wax poetic" for a moment on the beauty of this plants tuber! The friend
who gave it to me, and who has grown it very successfully over a period of
years, told me that every year this particular plant produced an increasing
larger and impressive tuber, and he thought that he would have a world
record-sized tuber last fall when he dug it up as it went into dormancy.
When he dug "it" up, he found (to his great disappointment, I may add!) that
the large tuber had divided exactly into two smaller tubers. The
interesting thing (to me) was that the two new tubers ( each about 5' wide,
one pound in weight, and half-moon in shape, with one side flat) gave the
impression that the original larger tuber had been cleft exactly in half by
a knife, and the sides where they touched were flat against each other.
One of these two tubers, which he kindly gave to me, was a beautiful deep,
dark almost translucent green, with brownish overtones, and was waxy in
texture, a truly beautiful structure of the plant world. Since they were
said to like it dry during their dormant period, I placed this wonderful and
beautiful, yes beautiful, tuber in a paper beg in my garage, and could not
resist taking it out to be admired by my wife and occasional visitors during
the "winter" months of its dormancy. To my surprise, I noticed that it
was slowly changing shape over the duration of its rest period in the paper
bag, the flat side becoming rounder, until when I planted it in April or
thereabouts, after the spike on top had started its development, the tuber
was completely spherical, with no sign of its previously flattened side!
It quickly put up a beautiful leaf and a bloom, with a papery spathe which
quickly withered, leaving the tall and impressive spadix exposed. The
thick, 30" tall petiole is a wonderfully dark, mottled green, and waxy
looking. The leaf reminds one of an Amorphophallus or a species of Tacca.
I`d love to hear from anyone as to their experiences with this wonderful
example of the aroid family, especially from anyone who may have other
species of this genus.
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