Xanthosoma



Xanthosoma is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae, comprising about 50 species. The genus consists of tropical and sub-tropical arums that are native to tropical America. The genus name came from the Greek xanthos meaning yellow, and soma which means body. It is known as malanga, new cocoyam, tannia, tannier, yautía, macabo, taioba, dasheen, quequisque and ‘ape. It is also known as Elephant ear, from the resemblance of the leaf to an elephant's ear. The common name elephant ear is also applied to species of genera Caladium and Colocasia.

Xanthosoma is a genus of perennials with underground tubers or thick stems above ground, grown mainly for their attractive foliage. Many species are grown in the tropics for their edible, starchy tubers, while others as ornamental plants. The leaves of most species are 0.4-2 m long, sagittate (arrow-head-shaped)or subdivided into 3-18 segments. The inflorescence consists of a spadix with pistillate flowers at the base, sterile flowers in the middle and staminate flowers on the upper part.

X. sagittifolium is a spreading, tufted perennial with thick stems. The broadly arrow-shaped leaves, 60 cm or more, are green with a grayish bloom, grown on long leaf stalks. The inflorescences of green spathes are grown intermittenly during the year.

X. violaceum is a stemless perennial with large, underground tubers and leaves growing from ground level. It has purplish leaf stalks, over 60 cm long, and bearing broadly arrow-shaped leaf that are 70 cm long, dark-green with purple midribs and veins. during the years, it bears intermittenly greenish purple spathes, yellow within, surrounding a brownish spadix.

Xanthosoma grows well in partial shade, and rich, moist soil. Propagation is by division, or stem-cuttings in spring or summer.

Xanthosoma roseumXanthosoma roseum
Author: Eric Guinther (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Flower of Xanthosoma roseumFlower of Xanthosoma roseum
Author: Eric Guinther (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Xanthosoma robustumXanthosoma robustum
Author: Forest & Kim Starr (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Leaves of Xanthosoma robustumLeaves of Xanthosoma robustum
Author: Forest & Kim Starr (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Xanthosoma sagittifoliumXanthosoma sagittifolium
Author: Forest & Kim Starr (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

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