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  Xanthosoma is X. sagittifolium
From: ju-bo at msn.com (Julius Boos) on 2007.10.20 at 11:59:06(16559)
From: bogus@does.not.exist.com ()
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 16:36:43 -0000
Subject: No subject

Dear Marek and other aroid ''nuts",

Marek and I are in agreement that the probable I.D. on the plant in the
photos from AW taken at Cibodas Bot. Garden in Indonesia is Xanthosoma
sagittifolia. If anyone cares to do so, there should be on the aroid-l
archives a long discussion on photos of a plant that, from memory, looked
just like this, Dr. Eduardo Goncalves eventually I.D.`d it as being X.
sagittifolia, not X. violacium. To be certain, we must hope that it
eventually blooms, and then examine the 'naughty bits', as my friend Wilbert
calls them!!
One more word on this, we must bear in mind that this plant probably
originated from tissue culture. On a previous post, I reported that a large
number of these were for sale at a major wholesale plant nursery here in S.
Florida, they came out of the tissue culture lab labeled as X. atrovirens,
and were being sold as a "Dwarf green Xanthosoma", that was until they
outgrew the 1 gal. pots! I I.D.`d them as being X. sagittifolia, which has
more or less replaced the edible rhizomes ("chubas"!) of X. robustum in
grocery stores, at least in my neighborhood. I now suspect (more than
suspect, actually) that the process of tissue culture causes changes to the
basic structure of some aroids that have undergone that process, hence the
'new' cultivars of Alocasia, Philodendron, etc. that are on the market, the
sellers admit that they are selections taken from large groups of plants
from tissue culture. We can therefor expect to see this in this species,
so be aware of minor changes in these tissue cultured plants.
In the interest of science, and remembering that "the proof of the pudding
is in the eating", I am presently cooking some small 'chubas' (rhizomes) I
JUST 'harvested" off a plant I obtained from the above-mentioned Commercial
nursery. I want to at least try to eliminate that it might in fact be X.
More on what is being called X. atrovirens----very rarely at Hispanic
Groceries in this area, a limited number of smallish rhizomes or better,
pieces of rhizome appear for sale as a food. They are not the entire
off-shoot, smaller rhizomes like those commonly for sale of several
cultivars of several Xanthosoma species, but appear to be harvested from the
main central rhizome of a plant. They have a dark colored, almost black
'skin' with the remains of roots, giving them a 'hairy' appearance. The
flesh is yellow, bordering on orange in color, with a thick 'skin', almost a
''rind''-like covering. When grown, the leaves have a attractive
'silvered' appearance, are sagittitate with a sinus with no bare areas all
the way to the juncture with the petiole. When cooked, they have a somewhat
'corky'/woody texture, and a wonderful peanut like flavor, quite different
to the other Xanthosomas. When grated and mixed with a little regular
wheat flour and other seasonings, then fried, they are great eating, the
nutty flavor coming through.
Ah-ha! I have just sampled the cooked rhizomes, and they have no sign of
the yellow color OR the nut-like flavor, and so to my taste they are X.


From: ted.held at us.henkel.com (ted.held at us.henkel.com) on 2007.10.23 at 16:13:56(16590)

Ah-ha! I have just sampled the cooked rhizomes, and they have no sign of

the yellow color OR the nut-like flavor, and so to my taste they are X.

Julius has got to be just the best thing on this list. Has anyone ever
seen such a demonstration of truly scientific species ID as this? A
tour-de-force. Too bad he can't take a bite of them all. No need to wait
for an inflorescence.


From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com (brian lee) on 2007.10.23 at 21:53:49(16593)
I second the motion...regarding Julius Boos and I move
that Ted be the moderate center....good writing from
these two.

From: ju-bo at msn.com (Julius Boos) on 2007.10.24 at 17:47:26(16603)
From: bogus@does.not.exist.com ()
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 21:33:25 -0000
Subject: No subject

Dear Ted and Leland,

I sincerely thank you for your too-kind words---I do what I can.
If I manage to show or convince just ONE up-and-coming young taxonomist to
think and act "out of the box", I believe I would have accomplished
something good for aroids.
Think for a moment, all I tried (and suceeded in doing!) was to get as
positive an ID as I possibly could of a plant being discussed, as no sexual
mater was available, and who knows when it might become availble.
So you work with what material you have, in this case my experience with the
taste/flavor/texture of the cooked rhizomes of some of the species/cultivars
of Xanthosoma. The one in question I could easily 'key-out' based on its
color, flavor and texture of its cooked rhizome!
I only wish others would use the tools we have to assist in ID`s, such as
the very different odors of the inflorscences of different species. There
is what appears to be for me a very complicated odor collection and analysis
system which I have heard and read about, so hopefully before I die some
sort of much simpler/cheaper system may become available and this can be
used by the layman.

Anyhow, thanks again, at LEAST two people ''got it".

Good Growing(and 'bon appitete!)

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